17 February 2010

radical improvement or our doom?

[click image]

Spray-on liquid glass is about to revolutionize almost everything
by Lin Edwards

The liquid glass spray (technically termed “SiO2 ultra-thin layering”) consists of almost pure silicon dioxide (silica, the normal compound in glass) extracted from quartz sand. Water or ethanol is added, depending on the type of surface to be coated. There are no additives, and the nano-scale glass coating bonds to the surface because of the quantum forces involved. According to the manufacturers, liquid glass has a long-lasting antibacterial effect because microbes landing on the surface cannot divide or replicate easily.

Liquid glass was invented in Turkey and the patent is held by Nanopool, a family-owned German company. Research on the product was carried out at the Saarbrücken Institute for New Materials. Nanopool is already in negotiations in the UK with a number of companies and with the National Health Service, with a view to its widespread adoption.

The liquid glass spray produces a water-resistant coating only around 100 nanometers (15-30 molecules) thick. On this nanoscale the glass is highly flexible and breathable. The coating is environmentally harmless and non-toxic, and easy to clean using only water or a simple wipe with a damp cloth. It repels bacteria, water and dirt, and resists heat, UV light and even acids. UK project manager with Nanopool, Neil McClelland, said soon almost every product you purchase will be coated with liquid glass.

Food processing companies in Germany have already carried out trials of the spray, and found sterile surfaces that usually needed to be cleaned with strong bleach to keep them sterile needed only a hot water rinse if they were coated with liquid glass. The levels of sterility were higher for the glass-coated surfaces, and the surfaces remained sterile for months.

Other organizations, such as a train company and a hotel chain in the UK, and a hamburger chain in Germany, are also testing liquid glass for a wide range of uses. A year-long trial of the spray in a Lancashire hospital also produced “very promising” results for a range of applications including coatings for equipment, medical implants, catheters, sutures and bandages. The war graves association in the UK is investigating using the spray to treat stone monuments and grave stones, since trials have shown the coating protects against weathering and graffiti. Trials in Turkey are testing the product on monuments such as the Ataturk Mausoleum in Ankara.

The liquid glass coating is breathable, which means it can be used on plants and seeds. Trials in vineyards have found spraying vines increases their resistance to fungal diseases, while other tests have shown sprayed seeds germinate and grow faster than untreated seeds, and coated wood is not attacked by termites. Other vineyard applications include coating corks with liquid glass to prevent “corking” and contamination of wine. The spray cannot be seen by the naked eye, which means it could also be used to treat clothing and other materials to make them stain-resistant. McClelland said you can “pour a bottle of wine over an expensive silk shirt and it will come right off”.

In the home, spray-on glass would eliminate the need for scrubbing and make most cleaning products obsolete. Since it is available in both water-based and alcohol-based solutions, it can be used in the oven, in bathrooms, tiles, sinks, and almost every other surface in the home, and one spray is said to last a year.

Liquid glass spray is perhaps the most important nanotechnology product to emerge to date. It will be available in DIY stores in Britain soon, with prices starting at around £5 ($8 US). Other outlets, such as many supermarkets, may be unwilling to stock the products because they make enormous profits from cleaning products that need to be replaced regularly, and liquid glass would make virtually all of them obsolete.
I'm almost prostrate with the possibilities swirling in my head....


  1. Thanks for this info from some one who has blown, cast, slumped, and broken glass this really cool and have sent it on to glass friends.

  2. The photo reminds me of the days as a child, walking the beaches of Lake Michigan, searching for glass pieces ground smooth from the waves and the sand. We thought they were emeralds and rubies.

  3. I think they're BETTER than emeralds and rubies!

    No shit.

    This could have something to do with my state of perpetual poverty....

    Yes, indeedy, I think I've solved it.

  4. What a coincidence. Just this morning I was reading an article about the greada treaty. ;)

  5. I think you meant to put that on the UFO thread????

    Maybe I'll link that treaty thing to the post when I get back from town....

  6. Glass by nature is actually a liquid. Extremely viscous, but a liquid no less.

    Modern glass is compounded with things to stabilize it to the point where it is virtually a solid.

    The farmhouse I lived in once was 125 years old and still had many panes of original window glass. It had bubbles in it which had stretched out vertically as the glass sagged. The tops of the window pane were noticeably thinner than the bottoms and some had even slumped enough that the top edge of the pane was visible out of the frame.

  7. .
    I can't figure out how they can be thinking of doing things like coating seeds with it, but haven't really put my mind to it.... And, as for the cleaning thing, well, glass gets dirty! So I don't grok that either, but I'm giddy with hope about it wiping out our problem with Bisphenol A. Holy fuck! THAT is major.

  8. But glass is easy to clean. It seals the pores of whatever it is on so stuff can't soak in, it's only on the surface. No stains.

  9. Let's spray ME with it then! Won't have to endure that stupid not-a-tub anymore!!!


  10. I mentioned Greada because this stuff might be alien technology. :)

  11. Oh, well, duh! Pardon me. I've been thick as a post all day. Need one of those brain performance enhancing drugs or something.... I was put off the scent because I was just then dealing with the UFO thing....

  12. Interesting article. I didn't realize there were so many uses.

  13. Let's spray ME with it then! Won't have to endure that stupid not-a-tub anymore!!!

    Unfortunately you would then not be able to sweat and "breathe" through your pores. Death would soon follow.

  14. Sometimes I think I'd rather be dead than endure life without a real bathtub!


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