Hydrotect by Crossville

FAQ


1. What is the simple explanation of HYDROTECT technology?
2. What is the simple explanation of how the HYDROTECT coating makes the tile have anti-microbial* effects? As a follow up, if it can inhibit odor causing bacteria, does it have any harmful effects on human health?
3. Why is HYDROTECT different than other tile products on the market claiming anti-microbial effects? As a follow up, how does it compare to other photocatalytic tile products on the market?
4. How long will the coating last?
5. Should a building owner expect exterior maintenance advantages over non-coated alternatives?
6. Should a building owner expect exterior maintenance advantages over non-coated alternatives?
7. Are there any negative effects from HYDROTECT, off gassing of TiO2, unfriendly elements, etc.?
8. Will our tile still be Green Squared certified with this coating?
9. Any changes to color or DCOF (dynamic coefficient of friction)?
10. Which of the two product codes (HT or HTX) is appropriate for a given application?
11. What is the plan for Crossville warranty with this product addition?
12. Is direct sunlight required for HYDROTECT to work?
13. What levels of light are required?
14. What is the actual chemical reaction?
15. What are the molecular details in the hydrophilic reaction?
16. What are the molecular details in the decomposing reaction?
17. Does HYDROTECT work in self-cleaning without rain?
18. Does the TiO2 dissolve in the reaction; does it lose its strength?
19. Is TiO2 harmful for human health?
20. What is NOx?
21. Why is NOx bad?
22. What is SOx
23. Why is SOx bad?
24. What testing has TOTO performed to validate the product claims?
25. Who did TOTO use as independent labs?
26. What material / dirt is HYDROTECT not so effective to?
27. HYDROTECT maintenance instructions?

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What is the simple explanation of HYDROTECT technology?

  • Hydrotect is patented technology for fusing photocatalytic titanium dioxide and anti-microbial metals to the surface of a material, in this case a tile. In the presence of moisture (humidity in the air) and natural or artificial light (in the UV spectrum) it produces a non-consuming (does not deplete the titanium dioxide when it reacts) reaction that creates three beneficial properties:
    • Self Cleaning attributes (“self-cleaning” outside vertically in the presence of UV light)
    • Air Cleaning (odors and NOx studies have been done)
    • Anti-microbial*
More Explanation of three benefits
  • The Self Cleaning attribute is due to the properties of hydrophilicity (water attraction), reduced adhesion properties, and the decomposition properties(things are easily removed from surface due to these properties and the ability of water to get behind the contaminants.)
  • NOx is generic term for the oxides of Nitrogen (NO & NO2)
    • Primary sources of NOx are vehicles, manufacturing and utilities
    • NOx is key ingredient in the production of smog (ground level ozone)
      • NOx reacts with VOC to produce smog
    • NOx is hazardous to human health and environment and are regulated by EPA
  • Anti-microbial* effects are produced using the anti-microbial* metals in the interior formula even when there is low light/UV or even in the dark.
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What is the simple explanation of how the HYDROTECT coating makes the tile have anti-microbial* effects? As a follow up, if it can inhibit odor causing bacteria, does it have any harmful effects on human health?
• Hydrotect’s technology provides anti-microbial* abilities using anti-microbial metals without the need for UV exposure. There are no harmful effects from materials used in the Hydrotect technology.
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Why is HYDROTECT different than other tile products on the market claiming anti-microbial effects? As a follow up, how does it compare to other photocatalytic tile products on the market?
• Non-photocatalytic tile products claiming anti-microbial* ability are, to our knowledge, using silver to perform the function of anti-microbial* effect; silver does not provide any of the other exterior photocatalytic attributes mentioned above (self-cleaning, air purifying, reduced adhesion). As far as the other photocatalytic tile products on the market, and the silver products as well, TOTO has seen through its testing that other methods of manufacturing (ones not utilizing Hydrotect’s technology for application) provide less of the reactive material at the surface of the product where it is needed to maximize the photocatalytic abilities and/or the anti-microbial benefits.
*This product is currently under review by EPA. Data and information presented have not yet been evaluated and approved by EPA. Information is based on 3rd party testing per ISO standards. Hydrotect products are not designed to protect users from disease-causing bacteria or replace good cleaning/maintenance practices.
•If titanium dioxide effects were to be compared, we can only suggest that independent testing be conducted by a customer to ascertain which one gets better results.
•As stated above, testing has shown that the way the material is applied by others does not produce the same reactive layer at the surface, and therefore the beneficial aspects, comparatively, are significantly decreased.

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How long will the coating last?
• Unless physically abraded off, the coating will last forever.
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Should a building owner expect exterior maintenance advantages over non-coated alternatives?
• For the exteriors, absolutely, the self-cleaning aspects offer a clear benefit of reduced maintenance cost to the façade of the building. Eliminating or reducing expensive cleaning processes and environmentally unfriendly cleaners is straight forward and easily quantifiable. In addition, the ability of the self-cleaning attributes to keep the façade looking brand new and as designed is invaluable to the building owner. This along with the added environmental benefit of air cleaning through NOx removal makes exterior Hydrotect a win for the building and the environment.
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Should a building owner expect interior maintenance advantages over non-coated alternatives?
• For the interior, the return on investment should be seen as creating a more hygienic, sanitary and healthier environment for the occupants in a given application. While this ROI is difficult to quantify, the investment in the well-being of occupants and customers is clearly worthwhile.
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Are there any negative effects from HYDROTECT, off gassing of TiO2, unfriendly elements, etc.?
• There are no negative effects, no off-gassing of TiO2 or unfriendly elements. The treated tiles remain inert.
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Will our tile still be Green Squared certified with this coating?
• Green squared certification is not affected.
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Any changes to color or DCOF (dynamic coefficient of friction)?
• In general the Hydrotect application results in only slight/negligible changes to the shade or finish. It becomes more apparent on high gloss, polished, or very dark colors. A detailed list relative to your question is available from your Crossville representative. There is no decrease in the DCOF of the product when treated with Hydrotect; the DCOF values for the untreated tile can be used for representation of the product.
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Which of the two product codes (HT or HTX) is appropriate for a given application?

  • This is where the hybrid photocatalyst comes in. For interiors the anti-microbial* metals, carried on a titanium dioxide structure, deliver the anti-microbial* effect in interior installations where low-light and no light conditions are prevalent.
  • For exteriors the formula is pure titanium dioxide and it will deliver the photocatalytic benefits of self-cleaning and air cleaning. For these reason we have an interior (HT) and an exterior offering (HTX), simply with and without anti-microbial* metals.
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What is the plan for Crossville warranty with this product addition?
• The tile would carry the normal warranty, available on our website..
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Is direct sunlight required for HYDROTECT to work?

  • For exterior, in most cases reflected sunlight from the ground, other buildings, roads, etc. is sufficient for Hydrotect to work effectively.
  • For the exteriors in urban areas, there is enough UV energy on building walls if the distance from the next building wall is greater than 1 m (3 feet).
  • On interiors the anti-microbial*attribute is not light dependent and is there even in the dark.
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What levels of light are required?

  • No light is required for the interior Hydrotect tiles to provide anti-microbial* functions.
  • For exteriors normal exposure to the sun is sufficient to bring about the full effects of Hydrotect.
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What is the actual chemical reaction?

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What are the molecular details in the hydrophilic reaction?

  • When TiO2 is energized, it reacts with water in the air to produce Hydrophilic (water loving) — OH group.
  • Stains and contaminants are lifted by water for cleaning by photocatalytic hydrophilicity (water attracting surface) which allows the water molecule to spread and get behind material on the surface of the tile for easy removal.
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What are the molecular details in the decomposing reaction?

  • When TiO2 is energized, TiO2 produce electrons (e–) and holes (h+), which react with surrounding Oxygen (O2) and Water (H2O) in the air to produce activated oxygen (O2–) or Oxide ions.
  • Oxide ions break down organic stains/dirt molecules on the Hydrotect surface.
  • Weaken the adhesion of dirt/stain.
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Does HYDROTECT work in self-cleaning without rain?
• HYDROTECT surfaces are adhesion reducing and they also decompose organics, so they will resist dirt, dust and other contaminants from attaching to the surface, but some occurrences of rain will be needed to wash everything away.
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Does the TiO2 dissolve in the reaction; does it lose its strength?

  • No, the TiO2 does NOT dissolve or lose its strength in the reaction. TiO2 stays on the surface permanently, unless it’s physically removed by purposeful scraping or abrasion. Normal/regular use will not affect the product.
  • TiO2 does not break down in the reaction, as it is only a catalyst (catalyst defn: a substance which causes the process of catalysis).
  • Catalysis defn: the increase in the rate of a chemical reaction due to the participation of a substance called a catalyst. Unlike other reagents in the chemical reaction, a catalyst is not consumed. In the case of Hydrotect the titanium dioxide in the presence of UV increases the rate of naturally occurring reactions in water and oxygen in the atmosphere).
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Is TiO2 harmful for human health?

  • No, TiO2 is not a harmful material.
  • TiO2 is a popular material as an inorganic white pigment and has many uses. It is used not only in paint but also cosmetics and foods.
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What is NOx?

  • NOx or Nitrogen Oxides are highly reactive and harmful air pollutants that are monitored and regulated by US EPA.
  • According to US EPA, common sources for NOx are
    • Combustion engines, factory, plants
    • Gas stoves, heaters, smoking
  • http://www.epa.gov/air/nitrogenoxides/
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Why is NOx bad?

  • It is a main ingredient involved in the formation of ground-level ozone, which can trigger serious respiratory problems.
  • Reacts to form nitrate particles, acid aerosols, which also cause respiratory problems.
  • Contributes to formation of acid rain.
  • Contributes to nutrient overload that deteriorates water quality.
  • Contributes to atmospheric particles that cause visibility impairment most noticeable in national parks.
  • Reacts to form toxic chemicals.
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What is SOx

  • SOx or Sulfur Oxides are highly reactive and harmful air pollutants that are monitored and regulated by US EPA.
  • According to US EPA, common sources for SOx are:
    • Coal fired power generation
    • power plants
    • and other industrial facilities
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Why is SOx bad?

  • It is a main ingredient involved in the formation of ground-level ozone, which can trigger serious respiratory problems.
  • Reacts to form sulfide particles, acid aerosols, which also cause respiratory problems.
  • Contributes to formation of acid rain.
  • Contributes to nutrient overload that deteriorates water quality.
  • Contributes to atmospheric particles that cause visibility impairment most noticeable in national parks.
  • Reacts to form toxic chemicals.
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Validation

What testing has TOTO performed to validate the product claims?

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Who did TOTO use as independent labs?

  • US — Georgia Institute of Technology (http://people.ce.gatech.edu/~mhbergin/index.htm)
  • TCNA — Third party lab used for independent testing of multiple properties
  • Japan — The third party labs certified by PIAJ (Photocatalyst Industry Association in Japan)
  • EU — Dresden University, Germany
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Other FAQs

What material / dirt is HYDROTECT not so effective to?

  • Rust, efflorescence, mud adhesion, bird droppings and tree resins (thick, non-transparent or inorganic materials).
  • Hydrotect may not be effective in places under too much soil load such as under exhaust outlets.
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HYDROTECT maintenance instructions?

  • In most cases, Hydrotect surfaces can be cleaned with water only. If needed use very mild soap to clean the surface. Avoid using harsh/caustic detergents as they are harmful for the environment.
  • Avoid cleaning methods/cleaners that scratch, abrade, or etch the surface.
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