New Superhydrophobic technology leads way for “self cleaning” cars

A new breakthrough in surface technology could soon make life a whole lot easier for millions of motorists. The latest development in “superhydrophobic” coating materials could see a new breed of car care products that when applied to your paintwork makes it so slick that it effectively becomes “self cleaning”.

This new coating material is so repellent that any liquid placed on this coating simply rolls off without touching the underlying surface. The developers also claim on their website that when grime or dirt  accumulates on the surface, a simple light spray of water grabs the dust and because the water is repelled by the superhydrophobic surface, it then also simply rolls away. Video demonstrations of the new coating material show some very impressive results of this in action.


Superhydrophobic data

Left: Contact angles of various surfaces - note comparison to other well know coatings. Right: A droplet sitting on a the superhydrophobic surface of a lotus leaf, which is extremely difficult to get wet. (Credit: Ross Nanotechnologies)

The product called NeverWet is a patent-pending silicon-based covering that deflects nearly all liquids and heavy oils by creating a very high contact angle upon application. The angle is much higher than traditional substrates, such as car wax (90 degrees), Teflon (95 degrees), or Rain-X (110 degrees).

As well as potentially enhancing the car cleaning products of the future NeverWet has the ability to improve the water resistance of many products as well as repelling ice and bacteria which opens up opportunities in many different industries.


Posted by: Rob Mobberley

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