Spray-On Glass Features Unique Protective Coating

Liquid Glass provides an easy-clean coating hundreds of times thinner than a human hair, protecting the surface against water, dirt, bacteria, heat and UV radiation.

Liquid glass is a compound of almost pure silicon dioxide; the spray forms a water-resistant layer that can be cleaned with water alone. Food-processing companies ran trials that demonstrated that even using bleach was no more effective than covering sterile surfaces with a film of liquid glass and wiping them down with hot water. According to The Telegraph:

"The patent for the technology is owned by a German company, Nanopool, which is in discussions with UK companies and the NHS about the use of liquid glass for a wide range of purposes.

"Several organizations are said to be testing the product, including a train company in Britain, which is using liquid glass on both the interior and exterior of the train, a luxury hotel chain, a designer clothing company and a German branch of a hamburger chain.

"Neil McClelland, Nanopool's UK project manager, told The Independent: 'Very soon almost every product you purchase will be protected with a highly durable, easy-to-clean coating...'"

If you think that covering materials with an almost invisibly thin layer of protectant is kind of science-fictional, you're right. Fans of sf writer Clifford Simak remember the special coating used to protect the galactic transit station, in his 1963 classic Way Station:

"It was as if the knob was covered with some hard, slick coating, like a coat of brittle ice, on which the fingers slipped without exerting any pressure on the knob...

"There was something covering this house which made it slick and smooth - so smooth that dust could not cling upon its surface nor could weather stain it." (Read more about the frictionless coating from Way Station)

This Science Fiction in the News story used with permission of Technovelgy.com

Bill Christensen catalogues the inventions, technology and ideas of science fiction writers at his website, Technovelgy. He is a contributor to Live Science.