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Transportation Science Technology

New Coating Technology Promises Self-Cleaning Cars 88

Posted by samzenpus
from the wash-it-and-forget-it dept.
Zothecula writes "Nissan's "Scratch Guard Coat" has been healing fine scratches on the company's cars for a few years now, and the technology has also made its way into an iPhone case. More recent developments have produced coatings to heal more substantial scratches and scrapes using nano-capsules. Now researchers at The Netherlands' Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) have developed a coating that is not only self-healing, but also promises to free car owners of the tiresome chore of washing the car ."
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New Coating Technology Promises Self-Cleaning Cars

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  • by gameboyhippo (827141) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:44PM (#40738827) Journal

    I just leave it out in the middle of a rain storm and it comes out shiny and clean!

    • I don't really care about the outside of the car. As you say, rain cleans it away. What I want is an automatic cleaner for the INSIDE of the car; perhaps a mini-Roomba that can climb the seats and get all the crumbs and such.
      • spidery robots crawling in your car, sucking dust into their plastic bags...

        • That would scare the heck out of me and my daughters. But vacuuming arms built into the doors that activate when you press the door lock button on the keychain, maybe.I doubt it would be all that good though. Crumbs are difficult to get with a handheld vacuum.
          • If your daughters are anything like mine, they are the cause of all of the crud in your car anyway. Robotic spider overlords might solve the problem, especially of they only come out when something is dropped.
      • Hello, Convertible!

    • by DigiShaman (671371) on Monday July 23, 2012 @02:28PM (#40740373) Homepage

      Rain doesn't remove the oily film and the dirt that's attached to it you picked up from the road. You need soap and some surface agitation to really clean a car from filth. Case in point; those touch-less carwash machines suck balls! Unless it's new or just had a wax job, you're wasting your money on those.

      • Case in point; those touch-less carwash machines suck balls!

        Actually they blow.

      • Rain doesn't remove the oily film and the dirt that's attached to it you picked up from the road.

        You obviously live in some backwards area with an insufficiently low pH to the rainfall.

        • Does Houston, TX count? My car never got a good cleaning after a whole week of morning and afternoon thunderstorms. Big thick raindrops from the sky. If that doesn't scrub the oily grim from the side of a car, nothing will. Not even a hurricane.

          • As I recall from my last trip through Houston, at least 50% of the precipitation is aerosoled refinery waste and other oily grime. It does come down hard though.
            • Must have been in the 1960s then. For the past 30 years, we don't get aerosol-ed waste and oil from refineries. I know because I've lived here most of my life. Many of my clients are in the Pasadena area including Deer Park. The scrubbing technology is amazing these days. Practically the only thing that goes up in the air is CO2 and water vapor along with light gasses that often get burned up by a pilot light.

              Na. The only major problem we get is excessive ozone from automotive emissions in periods of very h

      • acid rain could help, maybe the dude lives in china.

    • by ncc74656 (45571) *

      I just leave it out in the middle of a rain storm and it comes out shiny and clean!

      That trick doesn't work so well in the middle of the desert. We had rain in Las Vegas early this morning, and my car's a mess. All the dust in the air comes down when it rains, and it usually doesn't keep raining afterward long enough to wash it off your car.

      • Same in the UAE. That is often how the "abandoned in Dubai" vehicles look abandoned... at least the ones which are actually in Dubai

    • What I really want to know is will this technology work to keep the kid's car seats clean? And all other objects within 3 feet? And maybe the kids themselves? FYI, leaving the kids out in a rain storm does not leave them shiny and clean. Um, so I hear.

      Also the article has no info on the UV/chemical resistance of this coating, or how often it would have to be reapplied. Where are the details?

    • In LA when it rains your car just gets more dirty.
  • You know, of course, that mankind's lazy desire for truly self-cleaning surfaces will be what leads us to destruction at the teeny, tiny, hands of the nanite plague...

    Just a minor nanite-layer replication error and the next user to touch that self-cleaning toilet seat will be converted directly into a lemony-fresh slurry. It'll be all downhill from there.

    • It will come from an army or some factory first. Self cleaning surfaces have no need for reproduction, but weapons and industrial equipment have (ok, exponential factories reproduce in a much safer way, if they actualy work).

    • by EdIII (1114411)

      the next user to touch that self-cleaning toilet seat will be converted directly into a lemony-fresh slurry

      For some users that I know that will be about as useful as they have been their whole lives.

    • Just a minor nanite-layer replication error and the next user to touch that self-cleaning toilet seat will be converted directly into a lemony-fresh slurry. It'll be all downhill from there.

      I've never heard that Soylent Green was lemony fresh. Learn something every day.

  • It's the inside that's the problem!

    It's the inside that's the problem!

    It's the inside that's the problem!

    Gosh! Money laying on the ground people.

  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Monday July 23, 2012 @01:02PM (#40739061)

    Just program it up to drive to the car wash, drive through it, and drive back home.

    If Google adds functionality enabling it to pick up stuff at fast food drive-ins, we're all set for life.

  • This will never happen in the States.
    The carwash political lobbyists and Unite Carwash Labor Employees of America Now! (UCLEAN) will bury this technology.

    Look what happened to the 100mpg ICE engine.

    Won't somebody think of the car wash towels dryers!!
  • I'm wondering if this technology might be used on my brother-in-law.

  • In the coming weeks lobbyists from the car wash industry, every organization that does a fund raiser car wash and probably from that guy on the street corner that will wash your entire car with Windex for $2 will be decrying this terrible innovation in auto paint. This stuff will lead to nano apocalypse, lost revenue and general dissatisfaction with life. Someone think of the children too!
    • by gbjbaanb (229885)

      Fund raiser car washes... you just have to do them like this [wordpress.com]

      as for the guys who wash your windscreen and demand $2 later.. like having a clean windscreen is going to stop them.

  • by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Monday July 23, 2012 @01:50PM (#40739783)

    also promises to free car owners of the tiresome chore of washing the car

    Having children is also another way to accomplish this, albeit at much greater cost. Once I (and my siblings) turned 10, my parents never washed a vehicle again (until we left the house).

    "Dad, can I watch TV?"
    "No. Now go wash the car."

  • That market consists of men who want to watch girls in bikini's get lathered up and sprayed down.

    • I suppose you've never lived in a place where they dump salt on the roads in the winter?

      Around here EVERYONE shows up at the car wash on a warm spring day.

  • what about:

    - dead bugs

    - tree sap

    - particles of hot patch

    there is no possible way to keep these things from sticking. These things require physical scraping and nasty solvents to remove, even from a brand new shiny slick paint finish.

  • Cats always had self cleaning technology. Are they adopting it for car use? Would it mean the car could cough up dirt balls?
  • by Solandri (704621) on Monday July 23, 2012 @02:51PM (#40740731)
    They coated the outside of the laptop with it, giving it a slightly rubbery/felt-like texture. Whereas regular plastic laptop lids picked up scratches from being slid in and out of cases, on the Thinkpad you could simply rub these scratches out. Dunno of Lenovo still uses it. I first learned of it when I complained to a friend that my Thinkpad had picked up a lot of scratches over the years. He told me about the coating, so I spent about 15 minutes rubbing and it looked nearly as good as new.

    I mention this before the Apple fans start claiming Apple "pioneered" the use of such coatings in computers.
  • It will kill the summer time tradition of girls having a "bikini car wash". Oh the humanity!
  • I'm wondering why no one makes a 'dimpled' car, a la Mythbusters [autoblog.com]. Seem like a good idea for a fiberglass 'kit car' manufacturer.
  • I just let my car remain dirty. In addition to being easier, this leaves a protective layer of dirt covering the paint film. (I do remove bird droppings, however)

  • and ask how many people are employed in a carwash worldwide ?

This process can check if this value is zero, and if it is, it does something child-like. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS 454, University of Washington

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