Scientists develop self-cleaning and self-healing coating for carsAugust 10, 2012 by: Rituraj Mishra
When Nissan’s “Scratch Guard Coat” came into existence, it was a big relief for everyone. Small scratches were able to heal automatically saving some bad moments for the owner. The technology was even implemented in an iPhone case. It did not stop at this and then came better coatings that used nano-capsules which could be used to get over bigger scratches and marks.
The Netherlands’ Eindhoven University of Technology and a set of their researchers were in a mood for more and they have developed a coating which not only heals itself but also has the ability to clean itself. Can you imagine not having to wash your car every weekend? Sounds great, right?
These coatings have been around for sometime but most of the time, the nano-capsules get destroyed if contact is made at the place of application and hence they have not been used extensively. Catarina Esteves of the department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry , a researcher at the University claims to have gotten rid of the problem. They have developed surfaces that place the functional chemical groups at the end of special “stalks” which can be mixed through the coating.
Stalks work in an oriented fashion, that whenever outer layer gets disrupted stalks orient in a way to form another surface thus the main chemical molecules remain protected. Now this will lead to the development of high water resistant coatings which will help the scratches to heal and also allow water to take dirt with them. So just leave the car somewhere near a water source and make sure the car is close enough to get drenched and you will have a squeaky clean car.
There are a lot of other uses for this technology, like mobile phone displays, solar panels and contact lenses. The self-cleaning would reduce air resistance for a plane and thus reduce the fuel consumption, also ships can use this to get rid of algae formation on their hulls.
The technology has a lot to ponder over and for now you kid will still have his chance at some pocket money. Esteves is looking for help on this technology and claims that in the next 6-8 years it should be ready. So god news is after 8 years you won’t have to wash your cars, the bad news is you have to wash it now.