Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Ultimate Liquid Repellent

PostedMay 4, 2018

Download File (mp3)

Lede: Engineers have created a new coating that can make just about any liquid simply roll off. Could it truly be the end of red wine stains?

Randy Atkins: The newly developed clear chemical could be sprayed or brushed onto things like clothes, carpet, furniture, smart phone screens, industrial equipment, and medical devices. Anish Tuteja, a University of Michigan engineer, says it shows unprecedented protection capabilities…even for an easily stained textile.

Anish Tuteja: Any liquids that fall on top of it can just bounce right off. So like juice and soda and red wine would just bounce off the surface, without staining.

Randy Atkins: Tuteja’s team achieved this, and overcome tendencies for such coatings to crack or wear down, through discovering optimal balancing of the coating’s ingredients.

Anish Tuteja: These sort of new principles that we’ve found allow us to make much much more durable surfaces so that they are actually viable for commercial application.

Randy Atkins: Tuteja hopes the coating will be ready for some applications within a year, but tests for safety are still needed. With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.