Keeping Your Car Clean Forever

Chamelic, a spin off company from the University of Leeds in the UK, developed a new dirt repelling coating. The new invention could help avoid those frustrating situations in which it rains only a few moments after you finished washing your car. The new coating can be applied both internally and externally, and several industries have already shown interest in the technology which might help make our lives a little bit cleaner in the future.

Chamelic’s unique coatings can be applied to several materials including metal, glass, and plastic. The product’s versatility makes it suitable for a diverse range of domestic and industrial uses such as keeping buildings clean and preventing fogging on lenses and mirrors.

The coating works by both actively repelling dirt and facilitating the rinsing off of dirt with water (rain). According to Chamelic, the product adheres strongly and directly to the substrate, assembling into an invisible, ultrathin nanoscopic layer which produces a hydrophilic surface that is easy to clean. The application is made with a simple spray, as demonstrated on a window in this video.

Testing of the new material started in July 2006. The material demonstrated water resistant properties, repelling water droplets that had accumulated on test panels and road signs. Car surfaces and windows also demonstrated resistance to water as well as reduced dust and dirt accumulation. Although the Chamelic coating seems to have a promising future, the commercial product isn’t ready for the market just yet, and it is still undergoing extensive testing with industrial partners.

TFOT also recently covered another technology for self-cleaning windows which utilizes nanotechnology as well as a different process which makes keratins self clean and protect them from UV degradation, making the creation of self-cleaning fabrics possible. Other related TFOT stories include a super water repellent technology made by John Simpson, a researcher at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, as well as the creation of oil-repelling materials, which can be applied in aviation industries, being used as a protective layer to coat aircraft and spacecraft body parts that come in touch with fuel.

More information on the new coating can be found on Chamelic’s website (PDF).

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