Much like the floating cars we were promised as kids, we thought a self-cleaning paint coating was the stuff of far off science fiction. As it turns out, no so far off, it’s here already with some success. Scientists working at the University College of London have been experimenting with titanium oxide nanoparticles in order to create a coating that is water, dirt and damage resistant. Although they have been experimenting with all sorts of materials, such as cotton, plastic and glass, they applied the coating to steel with a sprayer with some remarkable results. Water beaded up on the surface and actually took some of the dirt along with it, kind of like a mini-vacuum cleaner. Even after the material was scuffed and scratched, the coating was still able to self-clean. An article in the journal Science recently quoted the chemists as saying that even oil beads up and rolls off the coating which is important since oils tend to cause more damage. As an added bonus, bacteria and viruses weren’t able to stick to the coating either and ended up being taken along with the water as it beaded. New Coating Technologies
New technologies for any industry is a cost issue and it’s usually quite expensive when it’s introduced. The good news is that once the coating can be mass produced, the cost will come down. Nissan started experimenting with their version of the coating call Ultra Ever-Dry. The coating is offered as an aftermarket product but no word on numbers of consumers opting for the extra.
The question remains, is it worth it? Consumers ultimately decide the fate of any new product, so whether or not this becomes the industry standard or remains a pricey extra has yet to be seen. If avid car collectors, rental agencies, auto showrooms and even the average driver is willing to pay and make this mainstream, then it just might be affordable. New Coating Technologies