MIT Scientists Create A Frost-Free Windshield Coating

One of the bane's to many people's existence is that frigid winter chore of scraping ice off of the car windows on icy winter mornings. Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have Forsted Windshields May Become a Thing of the Past (Public Domain Image)Forsted Windshields May Become a Thing of the Past (Public Domain Image)developed a new coating that could make scraping a thing of the past. This coating can also be used on other surfaces such as glasses and camera lenses.

The coating repels rain but it also absorbs moisture from the atmosphere so that it cannot gather as condensation. That means that it keeps glass surfaces from fogging or frosting. It will work on any glass surface that is subject to getting steamed up.

The best water-repellent coating currently on the market will help maintain visibility during rain, but does not prevent mist from forming. 

The new technology is called a "zwitter-wettable surface." It absorbs moisture on a molecular level, but repels rain. Zwitter is the German word for "hybrid." It is a term that is used in chemistry to describe things that carries two opposite properties at once. 

The coating is made by alternating layers of two different polymers -- polyvinyl alcohol and polyacrylic acid. The secret lies in employing nano-scale processing. This means that the scientists control the properties almost down to the molecular level.

The polymers are common enough to be inexpensive, making the coating cost-effective, especially on a large scale.

Source: Mail Onlline