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Nanotech coating keeps out the water, but not the air


May 15, 2012

A new nanoparticle-based coating is said to repel water from porous materials, while still allowing them to breathe

A new nanoparticle-based coating is said to repel water from porous materials, while still allowing them to breathe

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Keeping porous building materials free from stains and water damage has gotten a little easier in the past few years. Thanks to advances in technology, we’ve seen the advent of things such as spray-on glass and anti-graffiti coatings. Now, Spanish nanotech company TECNAN is offering a nanoparticle-based coating that repels liquid, yet still allows the underlying material to breathe.

The hydrophobic coating, known as TECNADIS, is made by suspending nanoparticles in a liquid carrier – the identity of those particles is a trade secret, although by altering their concentration, the properties of the coating can be fine-tuned for different applications.

When applied to materials such as concrete, ceramic, brick, stone or wood, TECNADIS causes any liquid subsequently applied to them to bead up and roll off instead of soaking in. It doesn’t completely seal their pores, however, so air can still pass in and out of them, minimizing moisture retention-related problems such as mold.

The coating is completely transparent, and reportedly won’t change the color or surface texture of materials. It stands up to regular cleaning methods, along with UV light exposure, and is said to remain effective for over ten years.

A demo video can be seen below.

Source: TECNAN

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

Yes, it would be great on car windows wouldnt it? You wouldnt need wiper blades ever again.


I'd say water repelling coating isn't new. Basically, my car's windshield is quite water repelling after it went through the car wash. The key problem is abrasion resistance.

If I use the wiper it removes not only water but the repellent (and at some speeds you have to, if head wind and gravity almost cancel each other and the water stays on the wind shield).

After a few weeks that even expensive special coating is rubbed away. If you look at a lotus leaf through a microscope you see the problem. Water repelling effect is achieved by microscopic small staves and they are easily torn or broken away.

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