Across technologies and industries, the quality of being either hydrophobic, oleophobic, or both is almost universally appealing. Whether it is a massive pipeline under the ocean or a tiny phone component, the ability to resist invasive liquid and its resultant damage is valuable. DryWired began by offering a nanocoating solution for mobile phones. Today DryWired technology expands and develops nano applications through a diversity of markets, offering essential protection against water, oil, corrosion, heat, and abrasion for projects small and large.
There is a famous quote by Arthur C. Clarke that goes, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” In the case of nanocoating, the magic is achieved by an extremely thin film that can coat electronics at the manufacturing, or OEM, level. The nanocoating may be applied by dipping or spraying. This material provides corrosion resistance to copper, aluminum, ceramic, steel, and tin. It may adhere to plastics, vinyl, polycarbonate, metals, glass, ceramics, and oxide surfaces. Telomere and perfluoropolyether chemistry results in a substance that is:
- UV resistant
- Appropriate for medical devices
- Of a thickness of 415 nanometers
Products that benefit from this technology include PC boards, inkjet printer heads, hard disk drive components, and biomedical devices.
Coatings on a Larger Scale
A nanocomposite is a material made up of two or more substances, one of which has a nanoscale dimension. Nanoparticles may be dispersed through another solid material, as in paint, to produce a nanocoating. According to ASETSDefense.org, coatings are the interface between the product and the environment. They control how the product interacts and what the user sees. By this definition, the coating may provide a real performance advantage if it effectively protects a surface while allowing it to function freely and to its intended purpose. A coating may even improve performance by layering in insulation to protect from heat and cold, and by shielding the surface from UV damage.
In the Beginning
One of the first commercial applications of nanocoating was for ships. Prior to its use, the barnacles that adhered to the hull required hours of manual labor to be scrubbed off. New paint technology kept the barnacles from adhering in the first place. Ships saved on labor and fuel. The paint resisted mold and bacteria, and was easier to clean. Plus, it was non-hazardous to marine life.
Today, an example of how this technology has expanded is in the trucking and transportation industries. Nanocomposites may be sprayed directly onto metal with no primer. Low thermal conductivity means a truck can stay cooler no matter what the external temperature. Vehicles can lower their A/C usage and save significant energy.
Some of the next advancements in nanotech may be in the further development of self-healing nanocoatings. These are materials that are built so that they can repair damage to themselves caused by mechanical use over time. While there might not be an area, large or small, that would not seem to benefit from such an ability, it may be of particular interest to large endeavors such as underwater lines and other hard-to-navigate infrastructure.
Nanotechnology is working in the world today to make devices, structures, and textiles stronger, lighter, more durable, and maybe even smarter. It is likely to continue to weave its way deeper into the everyday experience.