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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


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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Bobs on Monday April 16 2018, @12:50PM (2 children)

    by Bobs (1462) on Monday April 16 2018, @12:50PM (#667601)

    I wonder how durable this is in marine environments, what the friction coefficient is, and how toxic?

    Could be a nice way to speed up some watercraft.

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by DannyB on Monday April 16 2018, @06:11PM (1 child)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 16 2018, @06:11PM (#667737)

    Ideally it would be durable enough in marine environments, that we will never be able to get it out of the ocean. And never be able to get it off plants that are vital food for various organisms.

    If you had a truly Omniphobic "coating", that won't stick to anything, then how does it "stick" to the object you are coating?

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    • (Score: 2) by Bobs on Monday April 16 2018, @09:31PM

      by Bobs (1462) on Monday April 16 2018, @09:31PM (#667807)

      True, but I believe there is a phase change when it goes from a liquid to a solid.