By Mary Grady, Contributing editor
A new product scheduled to come on the market early next year promises to provide a durable coating on metal surfaces that can make them repel water, providing resistance to icing and corrosion. The coating, called NeverWet, is a "super-hydrophobic" material that causes water and heavy oils to bead up and glide away. "Any object coated with our NeverWet coating literally cannot be touched by liquid," says the Ross Nanotechnology website. "Any liquid placed on this coating is repelled and simply rolls off without touching the underlying surface. Not only is this amazing to see, but it solves a myriad of problems." Although the company hasn't suggested the product has aviation applications, the GA community has already taken note -- EAA said the possibilities seem "endless," from keeping wings clean and ice-free to reducing friction for seaplanes.
The product is long-lasting and easy to apply, according to the company. It also can be used on electronic devices to make them waterproof. In one video posted on the company website, an iPhone 3G is coated in NeverWet and submerged. The phone continues to operate for 30 minutes, but an untreated phone, according to the video, would stop working in less than 60 seconds. The company says it was working to find a better way to reduce corrosion on steel products, and accidentally "hit upon a slick product that's led to a whole new business."