We all know it’s a bad idea to get your phone wet but it’s surprising how often it happens.
Water damage remains one of the main enemies of mobile phones and other electronic equipment.
A British company has developed a technology to protect phones, computers and all sorts of products from splashes, rain and the resulting corrosion.
Stephen Coulson is the chief technical officer at Oxfordshire-based nanotech group P2i. He said: “The technology works in a vacuum chamber which is just a low-pressure vessel and by putting the product into that chamber we can then energise the gas within it to provide a protective layer on the surface of a product that when liquids come into contact with it, rather than wetting out (becoming wet), they simply bead up and roll off.”
The ionised gas created within the vacuum chamber attaches an ultra fine polymer layer over the product. The result is a durable liquid repellent coating.
Although other companies offer water protection for phones, P2i claims it is the first to commercialise it on a large scale.
Formed in 2004, the company has been listed as a national finalist for the European Business Awards.
Among its customers are several sportswear firms.
Tony Eccleston is UK Key Account Manager from Hi-Tec Sports. He said: “So pre-P2i we’d have normal membranes in the shoe which keep out the water. Now these membranes aren’t very breathable and they make the shoe a lot heavier. With P2i and with the ion mask we’ve got a lot more breathability, lighter weight and much more functional footwear.”
Water endurance tests are conducted in the lab, fairly early on in the trial the untreated trainer has already absorbed more liquid. Apparently an untreated shoe can gain 10 per cent of its weight in water.
The technology even keeps tissue paper dry when it is dunked in water.