Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

No Fog, Easy-Clean Glass

PostedApril 8, 2007

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Randy Atkins:  Your eyeglasses and windshield fog up because of microscopic water beading.  Jeff Youngblood, a Purdue engineer, designed a chemical that sticks to the surface of glass, pulling water in and spreading it out to prevent beading.  

Jeffrey Youngblood:  Glass fogs, not because water doesn’t like glass, it’s that the water doesn’t like the oils that are sitting on the glass.

Randy Atkins:  So the substance is also chemically engineered to block oil molecules.

Jeffrey Youngblood:  Oil will bead up on it, so it looks exactly like Teflon to oil.

Randy Atkins:  Youngblood says that means you could simply wipe your treated glass with a wet cloth and any oil would easily come off, without smudging.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.

The glass treatment is still in lab testing and a few years away from practical use.  To find out more about this story, go to and click on “Innovative Engineering” under "Quick Links" at the very bottom of the page.