Imagine a hospital saying bye-bye to bleach … forever.
Then imagine fewer germs, reducing the spread of dangerous bacteria.
This is the promise of spray-on liquid glass, a new product by a German manufacturer about to hit the market.
Liquid glass is transparent, nontoxic and repels water, radiation, dirt and bacteria, claims the manufacturer. It resists heat, ultraviolet light and acids. Once sprayed on a surface, the thin coating is breathable and flexible. The glass coating is about
100 nanometers thick, or about 500 times thinner than a human hair.
Nanopool, a private nanotechnology company in Schwalbach, Germany, that holds the patent, says liquid glass is made from silicon dioxide extracted from quartz sand, added with either water or ethanol. It can be used on metal, plastic, stone, textiles and glass surfaces.
A hospital in Lancashire, England, conducted a yearlong trial of the spray, and says it was very promising in protecting equipment, medical implants and other medical devices from dirt and bacteria, according to Nanopool. The company is in discussions with the National Health Service in Britain and other providers. Food processors, hotel chains, construction companies and museums have also shown an interest in the product.
Now available for domestic use in Germany, liquid glass will be sold in U.K. stores for about $8 a bottle starting this year.