Waterproofing Technology: A Timely Issue
Waterproofing technology today plays an important role in numerous industries. From the application of waterproof paints and sealants, to the development of new fabrics and protective instrument casings, this topic generates a lot of attention from scientists and business leaders alike. Recently, some significant breakthroughs in waterproofing technology have excited widespread interest.
Developing An Ultra-Water Resistant Surface
A group of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently announced a stunning breakthrough in the development of an exceedingly water-resistant surface. Their research focused upon repelling water droplets. They announced they had discovered a way to increase exterior ridges in silicon in a way that deflects water falling onto the surface.(1)
Their research could lead to the eventual production of very “hydrophobic” i.e. water resistant garments and mechanical and electronic parts. Since the fine ridging pattern will reduce the contact time between water droplets and a surface, it could hold great value in terms of enhancing ice-resistance. Frozen water clinging to aircraft parts poses a significant aviation issue in many situations. By installing a more water-resistant coating, manufacturers might enable products to display superior deicing properties.(1) Similarly, ultra-water resistant fabrics would help protect people from exposure to the elements more effectively in some settings. Camping gear, swimming pool furniture and many other products will likely eventually benefit from this new technological innovation!
Spray-On Waterproofing Convenience
Another research team, this one working at the Australian National University (“ANU”), also reported a significant breakthrough in waterproofing tech this week. A spokesman from the educational institution’s Nanotechnology Research Laboratory revealed a team of scientists had succeeded in blending together two different plastics to create a new spray-on coating with a highly water-resistant surface. Water droplets will not remain on surfaces coated with the product.(2)
Antonio Tricoli and William Wong worked on the development of the sophisticated nanotechnology formulation. They hope their research will eventually contribute to the creation of many effective new spray-on waterproof surfaces in a variety of industries. For instance, Antonio Tricoli explained that the new formulation will prevent bathroom windows from misting over. He hoped the coating would also help keep glass windows appearing cleaner longer, too. The scientists from ANU envision an array of useful applications for their invention.(2)
A New Era of Commercial Materials
The two new discoveries in waterproofing technology both function on a very small scale to produce significant benefits. During recent years, inventors have paid considerable attention to developing sealants and coatings to enhance the water resistance of certain commercial items. Protective “skins” and cases covering sensitive mobile electronic devices have achieved widespread popularity among consumers, for example.(3)
Ongoing research in this field testifies to numerous other useful applications for new waterproofing materials. Recently, researchers discovered a way to produce “self-cleaning” paints. By incorporating water-resistant sealants into their products, they will move closer to this goal.(4)
Potential Real Estate Applications
The housing industry will likely benefit significantly from these discoveries in the near future. For example, consider the usefulness of water-resistant surfaces in low-lying rooms? As scientists develop new industrial coatings, hydrophobic paints will likely serve an important function in helping to reduce water and mold damage in these environments.
Additionally, very water-resistant surfaces might help prevent the accumulation of ice on driveways, walkways and rooftops. Coatings to protect glass surfaces from water stains will eventually reduce the cleaning challenges posed by residential windows. All these innovations promise to make life easier for homeowners in coming decades!