Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology have developed a coating with a surface that repairs itself after damage. This new coating has numerous potential applications — for example mobile phones that will remain clean from fingerprints, cars that never need to be washed, and aircraft that need less frequent repainting.
This development can be of great importance for many applications. For example it will be possible to make a self-cleaning car, with a highly water-resistant coating that keeps this self-cleaning property for long periods. The superficial scratches will be self-repaired and the water droplets simply roll off the car, taking dirt with them. An occasional rain shower is all that’s needed to keep the car clean. In the same way, products like mobile phones, solar panels or even aircraft will remain clean for a longer time. For aircraft a cleaner surface means less air resistance, which in turn reduces fuel consumption. Other applications are contact lenses that self-repair their scratches, and coatings that resist the formation of algae, which is an advantage for ships. A limitation of the new technology is that it only works with superficial scratches that do not completely penetrate the coating. Edited from You may never need to clean your car again.