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Firm Touts Spray-On Glass

Friday, February 5, 2010

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A German company has developed an invisible, spray-on glass coating that is anti-microbial, flexible and breathable.

The “liquid glass” is about 100 nanometers thick (500 times thinner than a human hair), food safe, environmentally friendly, and can be applied to almost any surface in seconds, says developer nanopool GmbH.

“If you walk around Ataturk’s Mausoleum in Ankara, you are walking on it,” the company says in a statement. “If you visit certain hospitals in the UK, you are touching it. If you see an unusually clean train, you are probably looking at it. And if you wonder how your white settee looks so clean, you may be sitting on it.”

The invisible glass coating makes any surface easy to clean and stain resistant. A 30-second application can last for a year or more, the company says.

Winner of several innovation awards in Europe, the new coating has been available for domestic use in Germany for several months. Full-scale retail availability in the UK is expected this year, nanopool says.

The coating technology involves “SiO2-ultra thin layering,” according to Neil McClelland, UK project manager for nanopool, “In essence, we extract molecules of SiO2 (the primary constituent of glass) from quartz sand, and then we add the molecules to water or ethanol.”

In a company statement, he declined further technical explanation but added: “The really clever part is that there are no added nano-particles, resins or additives. The coatings form and bond due to quantum forces.

The company is testing the coating application in agricultural and medical settings, said McClelland, who describes the results as “stunning.”

“We are happy to hear about any other technology which offers the same range of applications,” he said. “The concept of spray-on glass is just mind–boggling.”

   

Tagged categories: Coating chemistry; Green coatings

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