Ultra-Ever Dry

I was recently offered a place at the Molecular Scale Engineering Centre for Doctoral Training based between Sheffield and Leeds universities, which I was more than happy to accept. Given that I will have a choice about what I’ll be doing, it got me thinking about the types of chemistry done at the centre and the applications that they have in real life. The popularity of surface modification chemistry is growing – I’m even doing some for my fourth year project – and it seems as though this area has almost limitless potential. For example, have a look at this video…

How awesome is that?! The secret to this kind of technology is to change the properties of the surface to make it hydrophobic (hydro = water, phobic = fear, i.e. hydrophobic things repel water). The Ultra-Ever Dry website claims that the hydrophobic surface creates a barrier of air to stop itself from getting wet… but what does this mean?

The hydrophobicity of a surface (how hydrophobic it is) can be calculated using the contact angle it makes with a droplet of water. The contact angle is the angle between a surface and a fluid at their interface, illustrated below. Ultra-Ever Dry say that surfaces coated with their material have a contact angle of around 170 degrees, making them ultrahydrophobic. This is pretty impressive considering that a contact angle of 180 degrees would make the surface perfectly non-wetting.

UED

Hydrophilic (water loving) surfaces have much lower contact angles than hydrophobic ones. Ultrahydrophobic surfaces have contact angles bigger than 150 degrees.

But not only do Ever Dry coated things repel water, they also repel fats and oils (making it oleophobic). If you’ve ever tried to mix water and oil, you’ll know they don’t mix, and this is because they have completely different properties – so how can this material repel both? I’ve contacted the company to see if they will reveal any more information about how it works, but it’s not likely that they will share very much.

My guess is that the molecules deposited onto the material interact so strongly with oxygen in the air that anything else that tries to reach the surface can’t get past the oxygen molecules. I’ve done my best to explain that using a crudely drawn diagram here…

How I think Ever Dry works

My best guess on how I think Ever Dry might work based on my knowledge of chemistry now and what is said on the product’s official website

If representatives from the company ever get back to me to reveal their trade secrets, I will let you know! If you’re interested in reading other science blogs, check out the Science Brainwaves site where I publish my material along with other science students!

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About ChemistDan

A second year PhD student based in Sheffield researching the reasons behind the molecular blinking phenomenon that allowed for the development of super-resolution optical microscopy.
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5 Responses to Ultra-Ever Dry

  1. Stan Meyer says:

    Dan, other people have learned the secrets of this material. Do a little more research and you will see what it looks like under an electron microscope. The usefullness of this product depends on how long it lasts and what you are trying to do with it. Coating the inside of a pipe with this stuff would greatly reduce the friction loss in water systems, I would not use it on potable water but I would use it on sewage. The potential energy savings is significant. A pump that is simply lined with standard epoxy will be more efficient by about 2-3% so if I could apply it to a pump my efficiency would increase even more than that. A coating on a ships hull would make the ship use less energy. The posibilities are endless but I think the problem is getting the material to stay stuck to a surface. Maybe Graphene would work if it was mixed with Ulrta-Ever dry. We are on the cusp of the next materials revolution and the field you are in is going to explode. Sooner or later this material will be applied to all kinds of surfaces but someone will have to figure out how to paint it onto surfaces so it won’t slip off. It will have to handle long term exposure to all the elements. I hope you take a professional interest in this stuff and come-up with the right mix of materials so we can make it a part of a coating system that can be applied to all sorts of surfaces. Maybe eletrostatic application would work better than what they are using now.

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  3. hey Dan,
    Me and my partner are also very interested in this product and are trying to start a company with exactly this technology in Austria. You posted this a while ago so I would be interested if there is any new information on this topic. Do you know how long the coating lasts with high exposure? what is the chemical structure of the fluid(I am trying to find out our regulation regarding the product in Austria)? If you have any new information on this topic i would be thankful if you could share them with us.

    • ChemistDan says:

      Hey! Thanks for the interest. Unfortunately I’ve not really looked into the product since writing the post, so I have no idea about any updates… When I tried to look up the structure for the original post I couldn’t find anything, and I assume that’s because it’s all patent protected. Good luck though, I hope your new business is a success!

  4. Juanddz says:

    Hello MSP-cookeatwatch.

    The coating works very good with some materials, but… It’s not very resistant. Please remember that, once wetted, the superhydrophobic properties dissappear. I will test the coating in contact with different liquids and greases and will see if the friction is reduced.
    What it’s really nice is that really works great with oil.

    From experience I would recommend You to coat also paper from both sides. It’s possible, that the effect will be better and the coating will last longer than other materials.

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