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Spray-on liquid glass is about to revolutionize almost everything?

Pt 2516
Spray-on liquid glass is about to revolutionize almost everything

Spray-on liquid glass is transparent, non-toxic, and can protect virtually any surface against almost any damage from hazards such as water, UV radiation, dirt, heat, and bacterial infections. The coating is also flexible and breathable, which makes it suitable for use on an enormous array of products.

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.

18 thoughts on “Spray-on liquid glass is about to revolutionize almost everything?

  1. …in Nanopool! If this stuff is as remarkable as they claim, it will be used absolutely EVERYWHERE. There are literally thousands of things I’d want to spray with this, in my house alone.

  2. If I remember my science lore correctly this sounds allot like what the soviets (?) had when they thought they had made polywater. Which was the basis for Kurt V.’s ice9 in breakfast of champions. They thought they had a form of water with unusual characteristics, I think it had something to do with surface tension, but it turned out to have been SiO2 “dissolved” in the water from the capillary tube. (all this from memory, so take it as such)

    The application seems kinda fishy. Even with the background, I remain skeptical.

  3. Sol-gel silicates have been around for decades, before that there was sodium silicate. SiO2 can’t simply be extracted and added to water and ethanol. It can, however, be made into silicic acid solutions, which can be spray coated and with addition of an alkali metal ion will form a pretty robust layer of glass. If there are “no nanoparticles” involved, as Nanopool’s website claims, then this isn’t a suspension of true glass particles, so it must be a stabilized form of some kind of silicic acid. Which, it should be noted, is exactly what you get if you add sodium silicate to water to make “water glass” which has been around for over a century. It’s been used to preserve food, coat surfaces, seal concrete and tile, make putty for plumbing and glazing applications, and so on. If you don’t want sodium in your product and the resulting whitish color and porosity, you can simply prepare silicon surfaces with hydrofluoric acid to make a hydrogen passivated surface, expose to oxygenated water, and you get a reaction which attacks the silicon surface to create a solution of free metasilicic acid, H2SiO3, which if you just allow it to dry forms a nice slightly porous but fairly decent thin layer of glass. I suspect this is what their product is. Addition of ethanol will help prevent spontaneous polymerization. As the carrier dries, the metasilicic acid polymerizes, forms nanoscale colloidal silica clusters, and then these will adhere to any surface quite well, and make a thin glass coating of silica clusters gobbed together with additional silica in the final drying. I was making silica films like this clear back in the mid-90s. Of course, I was doing it by accident and it was a death blow to the experimental semiconductor devices I was working on, so my problem wasn’t how to make amazing spray on glass, it was how to make amazing spray on glass not happen. So, it’s dead easy to do, and you can make amazing spray on glass at home. Just take a bunch of chips and splinters of silicon, dip in a 1% HF solution for 5-10 minutes to remove the 30 angstroms or so of native oxide that silicon forms on exposure to the atmosphere (Hey! that’s even more amazing than spray on glass! It’s magically appearing spontaneous glass! No spray required! Quantum mechanics is involved somehow! ‘Cause it’s chemistry!) rinse well with deionized water, place in fresh DI water, bubble some air through it for 30 minutes or so, decant, spray, and you, too, can coat stuff with a virtually undetectable layer of glass in the comfort of your own home.

    Note: please be careful when playing with hydrofluoric acid. It’s quite nasty.

  4. SiO2 has been used for ages to protect or “passivate” silicon chips. Seems to work well there, so if they can figure out how to put in on other stuff, great!

  5. Sounds promising, but I worry about widespread use of nano-anything because we don’t know how our bodies will respond in the long term. It may be breathable like hemlock is drinkable.

    From Wikipedia:
    Silicosis (also known as Potter’s rot) is a form of occupational lung disease caused by inhalation of crystalline silica dust, and is marked by inflammation and scarring in forms of nodular lesions in the upper lobes of the lungs.
    Silicosis (especially the acute form) is characterized by shortness of breath, fever, and cyanosis (bluish skin). It may often be misdiagnosed as pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs), pneumonia, or tuberculosis.

  6. argh, Cat’s cradle, not BoC. My bad.

    I still think that this product is right up there with perpetual motion machines on the reality scale. Nice if they existed, but likely would cause more pain than profit.

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