Engineering Materials
Drop Your Phone in the Sink – We Dare You

UK-based P2i has developed a waterproof nano-coating that protects smartphones such as the Alcatel One Touch, and Motorola's RAZR and XOOM. We think the company should develop the technology for consumers who want to apply it to the devices they already own.   (Source: P2i)
UK-based P2i has developed a waterproof nano-coating that protects smartphones such as the Alcatel One Touch, and Motorola's RAZR and XOOM. We think the company should develop the technology for consumers who want to apply it to the devices they already own.
(Source: P2i)

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Larry M
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Re: Excellent Application!
Larry M   1/30/2013 9:27:15 AM
Ummm, substantially more expensive than any piece of equipment Kinko's currently has, Maybe one per major city.

And I believe the major components have to be treated prior to assembly for the process to be effective. Given the difficulty of disassembling a cellphone (especially an iPhone, designed to be difficult), this doesn't seem like a starter.

But it might be an interesting device to have in a community "maker shop."

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Re: Logical Progression
bennuss   1/30/2013 9:27:28 AM
This already exists. LiquiPel does it and they are in the process of opening mall kiosks. This would not necessarily be prohibitively expensive if it is priced as an add-on with a reduction in the cost of  insurance  or a reduced deductible.

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Mobile water proofing
Mydesign   1/30/2013 9:47:33 AM
1 saves
Ann, recently while attending a telecom conference, happened to visit some of the Chinese exhibition stalls. In one of the stall Huawei had kept some Smartphone in a transparent pot having water. They use to call to these mobiles and explain about how it works under the water. I mean about water proofing and how safe the device is in water. They have a plan to introduce the same to market within few months.

John E
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Automotive application
John E   1/30/2013 10:08:44 AM
I'd like to see somthing like this on car windows.  If it would survive long enough, it would be a huge improvment to visibility in the rain.  I currently use RainX, but it needs to be reapplied about once a month.

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phone in sink
franklin   1/30/2013 10:30:43 AM
in the sixties (over 60 years ago) we used to clean tektronix scopes by hosing the inside with water. it did not harm the scope.
I have dropped a phone in the toilet 10 years ago. i rinsed it in running water and shook it to dry. didn't seem to harm it.

So what else is new?

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Re: Excellent Application!
Battar   1/30/2013 10:42:46 AM
Dave, this is an old one.

If perflourinated carbons are hydrophopic,  how will they attach themselves to the cells in you body? Or to put it more simply, if nothing sticks to teflon (another perflourinated compound), how will it stick to you, inside or out? The answer is, health issues arise when the compound breaks down at excessive temperature, which can happen in a frying pan but not in a cellphone.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Excellent Application!
Ann R. Thryft   1/30/2013 12:28:13 PM
Chuck, good question. But how do you define "immersion"? Spilling a cup of coffee on the phone? Dropping it into a sink of dishwater or a toilet? Or just leaving it out in the rain on a table? And for how long? I didn't find any specific descriptions of protection against immersion on the website, but a) all the examples (and Motorola's SplashGuard ads, as well as its name) imply that continual non-immersive exposure to liquid--such as sweat on your hearing aid or splashes of rain on your phone--don't affect protected devices, and b) the coating is said to molecularly bond so it lasts as long as the device does. The exact nature of that molecular bond probably determines the answer.

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Re: Excellent Application!
Offbalance   1/30/2013 12:45:04 PM
There are some devices that are sold specifically as more rugged, such as the Motorola Defy phones or Panasonic Toughbook. They sometimes have IP ratings for dust and moisture resisitance. Typically, for smartphones, the more rugged ones seem to be based on slightly older technology, so you get to choose if you want the latest and greatest, or the most rugged, but not both.

We already have conformal coatings. I can't imagine this coating will make much difference beyond the current state. The weak spot of the devices, in terms of immersion, is the seals around the buttons and the battery cover. These are locations that the consumer will eventually wear away any coating. And depending on how deep the device goes in the water, the seals won't hold anyway.

@3drob:  Do NOT put your wet phone into alcohol. It can separate the layers of the LCD screen! Rinsing in distilled water and drying out slowly is still the best method.

@ic78man08: The Bheestie bags are effective, but too expensive for me. Putting the device in (uncooked) rice may take a little longer, but still works fine. Or, if you want a free homemade Bheestie bag, keep all of your silica gel packets (do not eat!), dry them in a low oven, and store them in a sealed plastic bag, ready for that inevitibable dunking.

@franklin: Somewhere I have a document from Tektronix on the correct way to hose off the inside of an oscilloscope. I have never had the guts to try it out on my 1960's scope, however!





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Interesting but?
eafpres   1/30/2013 12:50:19 PM
I looked at the company site.  What I could find are mainly marketing videos; very nicely done but short on details.  There are lots of questions I would have if I were a company considering doing this to my products.  First, I would want to understand the plasma and what the risks of damaging electronics are.  Seems like the potential to either directly create a voltage potential or cause static charge buildup would be a worry.  I would also want to know about the conductivity question--seems too good to be true that you could post-coat a gold plated contact and not change the contact resistance.  

In my experience (I also have family who routinely drops phones in the toilet or bathtup, or lets them soak in 100% humidity in the bathroom until they fritz out) immersion is the real consumer issue, or condensation inside.  Once wet, unless you really dry it out, the continuous flow of current eventually corrodes something and the device fails.  To prove this process avoids that would require validation testing beyond what is shown in the video.

If I were to see test results presented in a more professinal way, I would be more convinced, but as an engineer I have to remain skeptical so far.

User Rank
Re: Excellent Application!
3drob   1/30/2013 1:00:51 PM
Offbalance, thanks!  It's good to know NOT to use alcohol on devices with LCD display's.

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