How's this for a crazy-sounding product: liquid glass from a spray bottle, able to safely coat everything from clothing to plants to keep them safe from dirt, heat, infection and UV radiation.
The liquid glass spray (technically termed "SiO2 ultra-thin layering") consists of almost pure silicon dioxide (silica, the normal compound in glass) extracted from quartz sand. Water or ethanol is added, depending on the type of surface to be coated. There are no additives, and the nano-scale glass coating bonds to the surface because of the quantum forces involved. According to the manufacturers, liquid glass has a long-lasting antibacterial effect because microbes landing on the surface cannot divide or replicate easily.
Other organizations, such as a train company and a hotel chain in the UK, and a hamburger chain in Germany, are also testing liquid glass for a wide range of uses. A year-long trial of the spray in a Lancashire hospital also produced "very promising" results for a range of applications including coatings for equipment, medical implants, catheters, sutures and bandages. The war graves association in the UK is investigating using the spray to treat stone monuments and grave stones, since trials have shown the coating protects against weathering and graffiti. Trials in Turkey are testing the product on monuments such as the Ataturk Mausoleum in Ankara.
So it can do pretty much everything? Well then!
It's all ready to go and it looks to be shipping to the UK soon. I guess we'll have to wait and see where it's first put into good use, but I'd love a bottle for the jeans I never wash. Not that it would save me time washing them, as I don't really wash them, but at least I'd feel less gross about wearing them every day. [Physorg via Boing Boing]