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posted by martyb on Monday April 16 2018, @11:59AM   Printer-friendly
from the what-would-YOU-use-it-on? dept.

A University of Michigan researcher has created a coating that could be used to repel water, oil, and other substances:

In an advance that could grime-proof phone screens, countertops, camera lenses and countless other everyday items, a materials science researcher at the University of Michigan has demonstrated a smooth, durable, clear coating that swiftly sheds water, oils, alcohols and, yes, peanut butter.

Called "omniphobic" in materials science parlance, the new coating repels just about every known liquid. It's the latest in a series of breakthrough coatings from the lab of Anish Tuteja, U-M associate professor of materials science and engineering. The team's earlier efforts produced durable coatings that repelled ice and water, and a more fragile omniphobic coating. The new omniphobic coating is the first that's durable and clear. Easily applied to virtually any surface, it's detailed in a paper published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

Tuteja envisions the new coating as a way to prevent surfaces from getting grimy, both in home and industry. It could work on computer displays, tables, floors and walls, for example.

[...] Ultimately, the team discovered that a mix of fluorinated polyurethane and a specialized fluid-repellent molecule called F-POSS would do the job. Their recipe forms a mixture that can be sprayed, brushed, dipped or spin-coated onto a wide variety of surfaces, where it binds tightly. While the surface can be scratched by a sharp object, it's durable in everyday use. And its extremely precise level of phase separation makes it optically clear.

Just what I needed for my keyboard, VR headset, countertop, toilet bowl, 1 gallon mayonnaise jar, t-shirts, patio deck, sailing ship, the inside of all of my body's cells, and synthetic killer bacteria.

Smooth, All-Solid, Low-Hysteresis, Omniphobic Surfaces with Enhanced Mechanical Durability (DOI: 10.1021/acsami.8b00521) (DX)

Related: Nissan Testing 'Super-Hydrophobic' and 'Oleophobic' Paint
LiquiGlide Slippery Coating Coming Inside Norwegian Mayo Bottles
Spray-on "Repellent" Could Make Freezers Frost Free


Original Submission

 
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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16 2018, @12:18PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16 2018, @12:18PM (#667595)

    Sounds like Teflon, another fluorinated plastic. Teflon (Polytetrafluoroethylene ) is plenty slippery but fairly soft. Teflon is also relatively expensive compared to other plastics. I wonder what this new stuff will cost when used in volume manufacturing? And fluorine is not the best stuff to work with, will there be environmental problems?

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  • (Score: 4, Informative) by takyon on Monday April 16 2018, @12:25PM (1 child)

    by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Monday April 16 2018, @12:25PM (#667596) Journal

    They want to give it to our kids right away!

    The research team is also doing further studies to ensure that the coating is nontoxic for use in places like daycare centers. Tuteja estimates that the coating could go to market within the next two years, and he believes childproof coatings are just the beginning.

    About as close as I can get you on Wikipedia:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silsesquioxane [wikipedia.org]

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    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16 2018, @12:47PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16 2018, @12:47PM (#667599)

      > They want to give it to our kids right away!

      Rush it to market because the cost of keeping kid-stuff clean might bankrupt the country?

      How long was BPA (for just one example of a nasty chemical) used in food containers before it was identified as something to be avoided? Personally, we have glass storage containers for leftovers...

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by bob_super on Monday April 16 2018, @04:18PM

    by bob_super (1357) on Monday April 16 2018, @04:18PM (#667678)

    2040 : Despite the denials by US industry lobbyists, there is growing evidence from independent researchers that the miracle coating can be linked to many forms of cancer.

    Just kidding ... about 2040 and the existence of independent researchers. Or US industry. Or US. Pick your fate, and enjoy your sure-to-be-found-toxic miracle.