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Ion-Mask Coating Could Make Waterproofing Electronics Easy

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the spray-on-foan-rubber dept.

Science 99

Engadget is reporting that a new chemical coating, originally designed to repel toxic vapors and liquids from soldiers' uniforms, may be the solution to small waterproof electronics. "The Ion-Mask is a special invisible coating that is chemically bonded to the device and repels water. It should allow waterproofing to make it into devices that are too small for the seals that are usually used to do the trick. Devices can have joins and gaps coated for a general level of water repellence, or have individual components treated for even more protection."

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99 comments

Lame (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21870340)

This would take all the fun out of the old hairdryer-in-the-bathtub prank.

Re:Lame (2, Insightful)

pwnies (1034518) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870386)

Not necessarily. Hairdryers generate heat by sending an electrical current through a filament to heat it up, but that filament directly accessible through the wide nozzle of the hair dryer. This ion-seal doesn't prevent electrical current from touching water, it merely prevents water from seeping through small holes or cracks in a device. With the wide nozzle of the hairdryer, water could still easily flow directly into the filament - which means you can still check to see if your buddies reaction speed is up to par.

Re:Lame (1)

inflamed (1156277) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870418)

No, this technology is supposed to allow coating (functionalization in surface science) of surfaces with a layer of polymer by application of a plasma of the polymer to the surface... even elements could be coated (and thus prevented from exchanging ions and electrons with water, although i'm sure most polymers would be melted by the high temperature of the elements...).

Re:Lame (4, Funny)

emeraldfoxx (1193353) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870508)

either way you'll still get a splash out of the bugger. Viva la Revolution!

Re:Lame (1)

Sillygates (967271) | more than 6 years ago | (#21871894)

but it would make this [youtube.com] a reality

Re:Lame (1)

infonography (566403) | more than 6 years ago | (#21872508)

"Finally, I can play WoW underwater!"

that was the best part

Watercooling madness (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874158)

Meanwhile, watercooling geeks around the world rejoice.
"CUT A HOLE ON THE LAKE'S ICE COVER : IT'S TIME TO BREAK THE 10GHZ BARRIER !!!"

Re:Watercooling madness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21874190)

Just 10ghz?

You must be new here.

Common, give me a break.... (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875572)

Just 10ghz?


We don't all live in Groenland, you insensitive clod !

(Or have moved over there for obvious overclocking reasons. Cheater !)

quite useful (5, Interesting)

pwnies (1034518) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870356)

Considering that I just sent my iPod through a ride in the washing machine, this could be quite useful. Not only for waterproofing, but also for cleaning electronics. Sure you can send your keyboard through the dishwasher, but you still have to let it dry for quite a while. It'd be a nice way to clean more intricate electronics as well.

Re:quite useful (1)

swb (14022) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870454)

I need to do that soon. My IBM model M looks pretty gross at this point.

What I really should be doing is stocking up on PS/2->USB connectors so I'm able to use it with the future USB-3 only motherboards.

Re:quite useful (1)

Big Jason (1556) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870662)

Be careful, very few PS/2->USB converters will work with a Model M. clickykeyboards.com sells one [clickykeyboards.com] that works, however.

Re:quite useful (1)

HappyEngineer (888000) | more than 6 years ago | (#21871112)

I had that problem a while back (I have an expensive keyboard that I didn't want to repurchase just to get a USB version). I bought a bunch of different PS/2->USB and ended up buying a $70 converter that actually worked.

Any idea why that is the case? Furthermore, what are those cheap converters for if they don't work for keyboards? Do they work for mice?

Re:quite useful (2, Interesting)

oggiejnr (999258) | more than 6 years ago | (#21871312)

As far as I am aware the cheap ones simply act as connection changers and allow for keyboard manufacturers to create PS2/USB keyboards with only one connection on the end. The keyboard has to decide to what port it is connected and uses the appropriate protocol. The expensive ones actually change the protocol between USB and PS2 so the device doesn't have to be USB aware.

Re:quite useful (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 6 years ago | (#21871366)

If memory serves, it is due to the voltages required by the Model M - and the voltages that are put out on certain newer motherboards.

I am too lazy to check to see if my memory is correct - but I think the site listed above says why...

The link was http://www.clickykeyboards.com/index.cfm/fa/items.main/parentcat/11298/subcatid/0/id/131781 [clickykeyboards.com]

As for me, I am keeping (and using) all of my Model M's till someone pries them from my cold dead fingers - and as they make nice bludgeoning weapons (and then can be cleaned in the dishwasher) they'll have quite a fight on their hands if they try to take 'em. ;-)

Re:quite useful (1)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | more than 6 years ago | (#21872674)

I recently got a Unicomp model M. Same as the IBM ones, since IBM sold them the designs/manufacturing rights. Not only can the keyboard be put through the dishwasher, severe damage can be fixed by replacing the individual keyswitches, something that is impossible in a membrane keyboard. I also suspect there is enough room in it for a small compressed air dart gun, thus providing the possibility of piercing chemical weaponized keyboards, instead of simple 4-5 pound bludgeoning weapon keyboards. This could be of great utility in the event of a zombie attack.

Re:quite useful (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 6 years ago | (#21877362)

There are different types of converter

First there are simple wiring adaptors, theese are usally recognisable by being very small and only having a single PS2 port. Theese only work if the device supports both PS2 and USB but has the wrong plug for what you want.

Then there are converters that do implement PS2 to USB conversion but play fast and loose with the specs of the PS2 interface in one way or another presumablly to save cost (there are lots of ways in which this can be wrong e.g. wrong supply voltage to device, wrong imput tresholds, wrong output voltage on signal lines, insufficiant current drive on outputs, bugs in the software and so on). This type of converter usually has two sockets one each for keyboard and mouse and is usually built into a Y cable of some form.

Bwootoof Re:quite useful (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870664)

I'm sure some would pay a couple hundred extra for an iPod that would survive a six foot drop and a six foot dunk. I wish there were a cell phone that would (damn nokia).

Since you'll probably not get it, stick a bluetooth transmitter on the ipod and stick it in a sealed RF transparent but near invulnerable box. ;) It'll cost about the same.

I'm not sure if the following offers any remote capability, didn't look to close and I'm not endorsing them, just pointing at the first I found
http://www.bluetomorrow.com/content/section/153/255/ [bluetomorrow.com]

Not sure if both would fit in here http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp;jsessionid=NQ0NFJEDBR0IRLAQBBICCOVMCAEFCIWE?id=0037999018340a&type=product&cmCat=perf&rid=0180101070502&xpid=k17401&cm_ven=Performics&cm_cat=Affiliate-click&cm_pla=Nextag&cm_ite=DDI%20Link&afsrc=1&_requestid=121893 [cabelas.com]

but should fit in here, the other one is a bit more portable but Pelican is good stuff.
http://www.pelicanproducts.us.com/detailaspx8.html?gclid=CPTnguLP05ACFQUsPAodBDFxXQ [us.com]

Re:Bwootoof Re:quite useful (2, Funny)

darthflo (1095225) | more than 6 years ago | (#21871238)

The Nokia 6250, while being quite a brick, tends to easily survive six foot drops onto concrete. Mine actually did survive some thirty-or-so foot drops onto grass and stone ground. Even being throwing it at people wouldn't hurt it. What finally killed it was playing half an hour of water cell (didn't have a ball handy) with it's rear cover not properly fixed.

Re:Bwootoof Re:quite useful (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 6 years ago | (#21871914)

I'll look at that Nokia. I have a 6030 and it works well but it is not robust. It has handled a couple of drops but dissembles itself. I really want an open source phone I can use with my service but I doubt they will allow it.

Might be intentional design by Nokia (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 6 years ago | (#21872874)

> It has handled a couple of drops but dissembles itself.

Er, I had always had the impression that these things are not unconnected. I'd assumed that Nokia designed the phone so that the less valuable and less fragile parts (the covers, and perhaps the battery) absorb more of the energy of the collision, partially by flying off.

Re:Bwootoof Re:quite useful (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#21871442)

you need to find a better phone then. My motorola L2, has survived in a glass of water, has fall down two flights of stairs, and a 11 foot drop onto a concrete floor(yes i know the height, it is clearly labeled loading zone). The water one took a week for it to work right and to finish drying out.

after all that it has one tiny scratch on the back of the battery case.

Re:Bwootoof Re:quite useful (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 6 years ago | (#21871874)

*sobs* I had one. An Erickson. Old analog phone that got service in places goats wouldn't go.
With the extra large battery it was quite a brick. It finally just wore out and the local cell phone companies were not reactivating analog phones so I didn't get one.
I dropped that countless times with no problems.

Re:Bwootoof Re:quite useful (1)

spikedvodka (188722) | more than 6 years ago | (#21872028)

I had a Nokia 6110 (I think it was), and it survived everything... drops, snow, water... the works

The one thing it didn't survive however was the snowblower :-( It had falled out of my pocket in the morning, and I hadn't noticed, and my granfather-in-law snow blowed it

Re:Bwootoof Re:quite useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21874224)

There are Ericsson phones that can survive being submerged in water for an hour and being driven over by a car. IIRC that was the R250.

These are NOT Sony Ericsson - they are old Rxxx models.

R310, a bit weaker, can be found on Ebay right now. It's a GSM 900/1800 phone.

In the former Soviet Union... (1)

bdwoolman (561635) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875588)

our phones drop us.

Re:quite useful (3, Insightful)

jimmyswimmy (749153) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870828)

I don't know why this is a big deal for the Slashdot crowd. Might be nice for keeping the water out of my sneaks, but for electronics? Conformal coatings (like Humiseal) have been around forever... they're just expensive and make rework miserable.

Don't think this would work all that well on entire systems. Remember, most battery-module interfaces are connectorized. If you overcoat the connector, you will reduce surface contact between the connector sides, which increases electrical resistance. In other words, a little jiggle on the connector and your device resets itself.

If they don't waterproof the connector, no problem, but then you destroy the battery when the phone or ipod or whatever goes in the toilet. Which is better than losing the whole device, but most consumers won't know the difference. Or they use waterproof connectors which are bulky and expensive and don't belong in the middle of consumer equipment.

Re:quite useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21870972)

Electronics easier to waterproof?

Sounds like that sex-with-robots story from the other day just got another enabling technology!

wristwatch after changing batteries (1)

RicktheBrick (588466) | more than 6 years ago | (#21871110)

I can not keep a wristwatch water proof after replacing the batteries so I usually buy another watch when the battery dies. It might help if I bought a little more expensive watch but it is too tempting when a watch is around $10. This coating would probably be too expensive for the cheap watches.

Re:quite useful (1)

SeaSolder (979866) | more than 6 years ago | (#21871152)

I work in the electronics manufacturing field, and I feel it necessary to quell some rumors here... First off, while water and electricity don't mix, water and ELECTRONICS do. Every single board my company makes is washed after the soldering process with... WATER! With RARE exceptions, every electronic device you have was washed in water. The problem comes when you have corrosive / conductive liquids (salt water, or tap water with impurities in it), or the power is still on.
In any event, the idea of waterproof electronics is decades old, and this is nothing more than a different way of doing it.
My company provides some of our products with what is called a "Conformal Coating". This is a coating that protects and insulates all of the components on the board. We currently use something called peralyne (Paralaxyn Resin) which is just a few thousandths of an inch thick, virtually invisible, and impervious to almost all known solvents / caustics. Phone makers, Apple, and everyone else COULD make their products absolutely water-proof for just a few dollars per board extra, but they don't because it is an option that does nothing but eat into the bottom line of the manufacturer.

Re:quite useful (1)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873238)

The entire point is the power being on. Most folks don't drop a powered off mobile phone in the toilet.

except... (1)

celtic_hackr (579828) | more than 6 years ago | (#21886480)

High pressure washing delicate electronics devices isn't my idea of useful.

Not to mention, we're talking about a thin film substance here acting as the sealer.
I'm betting, that frequent exposure to high pressure washing is likely to deteriorate any waterproofing. These things will probably need to come with labels stating "hand wash only"
"No abrasive" washing.

You could probably do this yourself by getting some good epoxy,
disassemble your device and apply a thin layer of epoxy at all possible water entry points.
Also placing a thin rubber cover over any exposed surfaces (like the inside of the earpiece).
Of course, it makes maintenance a real killer.

Waterproofing electronics is easy (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21870358)

In the right conditions... For instance, if you look up cooling in mineral oil [google.com] you would see that you can basically run a pc in mineral oil. So get sealed canister kinda-things filled with oil, and you've got a rugged machine, right?

Sealed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21870414)

I think part of the problem is that the electronics are hard (i.e. expensive) to seal up like that. And having mineral oil spill out when you wanted to replace batteries, service them, or just break them by accident would not be fun.

Would be interesting to see how well this works for all the little things people carry around, like USB drives.

MOD PARENT UP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21870500)

While I'm not sure about the idea of sealed oil canisters, wouldn't coating the electronics with the oil work pretty well like this video demonstrates [contactlog.net] I would be dubious however about spraying my nice new boards with oil!

TROLL! (1)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870514)

the linik doesn't lead to anything about mineral oil, it just redirects to something called "myminicity" that I've heard a bit about these days... whether you think it's bad or good or whatever, this just isn't honest. The link has nothing to do with that the text or /. look-up says it is.

Re:TROLL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21870648)

You have the knowledge of a myminicity idiot.

Re:Waterproofing electronics is easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21870676)

This myminicity shit is giving a bad name to AC's, and chances are its going to hurt people from posting links. Great job, just another step toward ruining a good thing.

Re:Waterproofing electronics is easy (0, Troll)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870766)

there is sort of a distributed attack on the a-holes you can join on screwminicity.com

Re:Waterproofing electronics is easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21871020)

trying to be a leader eh? gathering an army to fight them minicity spammers... well, you gonna loose.

Re:Waterproofing electronics is easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21871394)

Especially as his primary tactic for fighting myminicity is actually generating hits for the spammers....

Re:Waterproofing electronics is easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21871946)

not really actually, it's just that these 'cities' are standing out like sore thumbs on the bandwidth consumption vs revenue generated. if enough people sign up for the program then myminicity will have a choice between booting the jerks or losing their site completely. I think I know which way that will go.

Re:Waterproofing electronics is easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21876144)

you do realize that minicity doesn't have users... anyone can create a city without registration. You are just helping them out. Nobody will get booted and you will lose.

Other applications... (5, Interesting)

illegibledotorg (1123239) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870366)

I guess this could be nice in the "small device" application that they mention, but other bigger devices come to mind:

- Ever ruin a laptop by spilling soda on it? It might still be sticky, but you wouldn't fry the motherboard.
- Ever tried waterproofing an outdoor AP or camera? You have to be very aggressive -- this could make things easier.

It would be great if this stuff came to market like a Rustoleum-type spray.

Re:Other applications... (1)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870456)

This would be a lifesaver on cell phones that get hit with a drop of water and fry.

Re:Other applications... (3, Interesting)

blankinthefill (665181) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870540)

I thought of this too, but it brings up some important things to consider first: 1. Will the treatment inhibit heat transfer? Does it even stand up under heat? The article was pretty vague on that point, but if the answer to the first one is yes, or the second one is no, then that would limit its functionality greatly when expanding it to uses outside those mentioned in the article, namely phones. 2. Cost. How much does it cost to do this? and, more importantly, would there be a way to do it yourself, or to bring something in somewhere and get it done for you? If the is prohibitive, then it also lowers the usefulness, but if its cheap, easy to use, and you don't have to have a contract with them to get it done... this could end up being a pretty nice addition to ANY portable electronics.

Re:Other applications... (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873738)

The website was talking about a couple bucks range, but I can't find it again. The technology is an ion application [p2i-labs.co.uk] so the biggest expense is going to be evacuating the atmosphere from the treatment chamber, after that would be paatent licensing. The actual coating is then ion deposited on the desired article and the result is only a few molecules thick. I can't see any molecules thick layer having a measurable effect on thermal conductivity, nor having any effect on electrical conductivity that would be solved by cycle the switches a few time.

Re:Other applications... (1)

Antibozo (410516) | more than 6 years ago | (#21877266)

I can't see any molecules thick layer having a measurable effect on thermal conductivity

That's not the only issue—it's also important to know at what temperature and rate of thermal transfer the coating itself will be damaged.

Re:Other applications... (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 6 years ago | (#21877948)

I recall seeing something like this on TechTV so it was a few years ago, but if its the same, they are using a plasma generated from fluorine gas and usually the base molecule will disintegrate before the fluorine bond breaks.

Re:Other applications... (1)

Sgt.Modulus (1198753) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870584)

your post reminds me of the oxyclean commercial guy. I think he is kind of annoying. But yeah, I agree with you about the solution for cleaning and protecting circuits.

Re:Other applications... (1)

slyn (1111419) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870600)

- Ever ruin a laptop by spilling soda on it? It might still be sticky, but you wouldn't fry the motherboard.


Pop? No. Beer? Yes.

Thank god it was still under the warranty, or I would've had the awkward task of presenting my drunkass cousin's with the bill.

Re:Other applications... (1)

celle (906675) | more than 6 years ago | (#21871060)

No, but my cat pissed in one. I disassembled, cleaned, and I'm typing this to you now on it now. And no smell.

Re:Other applications... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873032)

Concerning an device that you're supposed to handle in your hands - there's still the aspect of mechanical durability. TFA does not mention how thick or mechanically durable this layer should be. What if it wears off, if you have a camera and use it frequently? I still remember how my SLR looked after twenty years of usage. But I am afraid that it won't matter anyway as it will most likely be applied to some consumer crap. :/

Vaporware (2, Funny)

inflamed (1156277) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870372)

Having read all the available literature on this process, I feel it's fair to call it vaporware.

Re:Vaporware (1)

laejoh (648921) | more than 6 years ago | (#21872992)

... all the available literature ...

even The Vicomte de Bragelonne [wikipedia.org] ?

Epoxy (1)

Antibozo (410516) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870392)

How is this is superior to the traditional epoxy dip?

Re:Epoxy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21870474)

It's less sticky for one. Also the components will be lighter and heat transfer will probably be better. You'll probably still need epoxy for waterproofing solder joints though.

Re:Epoxy (1)

Antibozo (410516) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870524)

Re stickiness: any decent epoxy coating is not sticky at all. Re heat transfer: I wonder at what temperature the ion mask would be degraded.

Also, for potential cell phone applications, can this effectively protect the diaphragms on the microphone and speaker? Most everything else in a cell phone is already pretty easy to waterproof, if a manufacturer had any real incentive to do so.

Re:Epoxy (1)

Phoenixhunter (588958) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870878)

Epoxy can over-insulate electronics in devices that are becoming increasingly compact and need every square millimeter it can get to shed that excess heat.

Re:Epoxy (1)

Antibozo (410516) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870950)

Certainly. But my question is whether there is information indicating that this ion mask outperforms epoxy or other conformal coatings in this respect?

Re:Epoxy (1)

Presence2 (240785) | more than 6 years ago | (#21872316)

I suspect it's related to the coating's density or thickness. Epoxy would be far too dense to use on fabric, which is (as mentioned previously) why it also retains heat more in electronic applications. It's all supposition though till more info is provided.

used in military uniforms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21870412)

It should allow waterproofing to make it into devices that are too small for the seals that are usually used to do the trick.
Got it. This is for uniforms that aren't good enough for SEALS. Ok.

This would have been good to have on Christmas Eve (2, Funny)

ip_freely_2000 (577249) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870424)

...when I dropped my phone into the kitchen sink.

Re:This would have been good to have on Christmas (0, Redundant)

inKubus (199753) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870624)

This would have been nice to have when my WIFE dropped her PHONE in the TOILET.

Re:This would have been good to have on Christmas (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21870658)

Was she using it in vibrate mode?

Re:This would have been good to have on Christmas (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21871162)

Liar. We all know that no one on slashdot has a toilet.

... err, wait, how does that line go again?

Re:This would have been good to have on Christmas (1)

Tailsfan (1200615) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870854)

Or when I spilled water on my game boy advance, killing a button.

Re:This would have been good to have on Christmas (1)

caluml (551744) | more than 6 years ago | (#21871540)

Course - then Nokia/Sony Ericsson/whoever can't sell you a new phone.

Re:This would have been good to have on Christmas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21873490)

It is just not kitchen sink - even going out in rain, makes some phones not work. This is particularly a problem in tropics, where there are sudden torrential downpours. These downpours last only a few minutes, but feels like buckets of water are poured on you!

I dropped my cell phone in sea. Hopefully with this technology, really smart engineers would find a way to save a phone under these conditions.

Re:This would have been good to have on Christmas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21874300)

Easy as fuck to save them.

Take out the battery, wash with fresh water, dunk the battery *quickly* in fresh water, dry. Good as new 90% of the cases.

Surfactant resistant? (3, Interesting)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870426)

Although this coating may make something waterproof, I'd doubt that it makes the device surfactant-resistant. Soapy water (in the shower, tub, sink, or washing machine) does not have the high surface tension or tendency to be repelled by hydrophobic substances that I'd bet this coating depends on.

Of course, I could be wrong and would enjoy an informative post that proves that this coating can survive suds.

Re:Surfactant resistant? (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873782)

the coating is 1/3 less surface energy than teflon, does soapy water stick to teflon?

Planned Obsolescence (1)

tcolberg (998885) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870432)

So you're telling me that my cell phone's moisture "pink-dot" sensor won't be able to brick my phone at random anymore? How else are the mobile companies gonna keep ripping me off? Somebody please think of the phone companies!

Don't run by the pool (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870436)

The lifeguards now carry tasers.

Shoes and Insurance (2, Insightful)

writerjosh (862522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870466)

This article elaborates on how it would work with shoes/clothing:

"Rather than absorbing water and dirt, moisture will instead bead off the surface of the specially-designed shoes."

And then another advantage (for insurance companies at least) is the insurance angle:

"For electronic devices, protection from water is also important. Water damage is one of the top reasons for insurance claims on mobiles, with more than 1.2 million being dropped in lavatories, drinks or put through washing machines last year."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?view=DETAILS&grid=&xml=/earth/2007/12/30/scitech230.xml [telegraph.co.uk]

Perhaps this could also be an eventual replacement to protect servers and other vital machinery without the cost and danger of Halon and similar gases.

Re:Shoes and Insurance (1)

RailRide (737108) | more than 6 years ago | (#21882190)

"...Rather than absorbing water and dirt, moisture will instead bead off the surface of the specially-designed shoes."

...Right after you pull your 3" high shoe out of the 6-inch deep slush puddle that didn't look that deep until you stepped in it. I've watched that happen so often it's become a spectator sport for me every time a good-sized snowstorm hits NYC :)

---PCJ

Could it be? (4, Funny)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870566)

Is this anything like that "Girl Repellent" stuff that Trekkies spray on themselves before going out to singles bars?

Re:Could it be? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21870712)

Some of us REAL Trekkies can repel women without some stupid spray on stuff. We are MADE of repellent.

Spray on? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21871456)

I thought it was what they didn't spray on, namely deodorant, that was the repellent.

Re:Could it be? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21872078)

> Is this anything like that "Girl Repellent" stuff that Trekkies spray on themselves before going out to singles bars?

They're called "repulsor beams" n00b!

The tractor beams are reserved for green Orion women... who rarely frequent these bars, but you never know!

combo pc & fish bowl (1)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870568)

Ever since I saw those mac desktops with the translucent neon backs (G3 era?) I've thought that they would make great fish tanks... Now maybe they will!

Effective if used (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21870588)

As other posters have pointed out, there are ways to waterproof electronics already. Of course these don't work if moving parts are involved. This treatment seems to cover those applications.

One of the big killers of electronics is humidity. Even if the equipment has never been soaked, its performance can deteriorate over time as it absorbs moisture from the atmosphere. I've seen massive repair bills because the manufacturer skimped on 25 cents worth of conformal coating. Since this new treatment is harder to apply than conformal coating, I expect the same cheap behavior and resultant consequences.

What if?? (4, Funny)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870634)

What if you coated your face with it?

Then you'd be the man in the Ion mask!

Thank you! And have a Happy New Year!

Re:What if?? (1)

ip_freely_2000 (577249) | more than 6 years ago | (#21872214)

I would have given you a +1 for that if I had the points.

Re:What if?? (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 6 years ago | (#21872462)

What if you coated your face with it?

Then you'd be the man in the Ion mask!

I was thinking more about waterproofing my network equipment - The LAN in the ion mask.

Foan? (0, Offtopic)

coldcell (714061) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870700)

from the spray-on-foan-rubber dept.

Dear Scuttlemonkey,

What is foan rubber? Did you misspell "foam" of "phone", or is this some play off the two?

You haven't started New Year's drinking already have you?

Yours sincerely,

Coldcell

Re:Foan? (1)

andy_t_roo (912592) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874308)

by coldcell on Tuesday January 01, @10:07AM
You haven't started New Year's drinking already have you?

the GP's already had quite a few hours to be drinking in the new year by my clock :)

I hope it can be productized!! (1)

listen_to_blogs (1210278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870702)

I'd love to take my ipod when I go serfing!!! listen_to_slashdot [blogbard.com]

alternative to seals (4, Funny)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 6 years ago | (#21870706)

It should allow waterproofing to make it into devices that are too small for the seals that are usually used to do the trick.
Have they tried baby seals?

Re:alternative to seals (1)

MrCopilot (871878) | more than 6 years ago | (#21871328)

Have they tried baby seals?

best line ever.

Re:alternative to seals (1)

brianerst (549609) | more than 6 years ago | (#21871886)

They're The Veal of the Sea [archive.org] !

Now in Theaters (1)

woodrad (1091201) | more than 6 years ago | (#21871016)

The Man in the Ion Mask

Not waterproof... (2, Insightful)

blue l0g1c (1007517) | more than 6 years ago | (#21871696)

I'll bet my eye teeth that it will be rebranded as water resistant before it hits the market, because anything that is being touted as waterproof will be instantly chucked into a sinkful of water as soon as it is out of the packaging, and the company won't want to take responsibility for the ones that fail. I miss the days of "Waterproof."

That's what conformal coatings are for (1, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#21871836)

There are conformal coatings [thermospray.com] for waterproofing. They're routinely used in automotive and military applications. The main limits on conformal coating come from components that interact with the outside world - connectors, microphones, speakers, displays, and switches. All those parts are available in waterproof forms.

The ruggedized forms of those components tend to be a bit larger. But not by much any more. Check out the Motorola i580 [motorola.com] ruggedized cell phone. Note how the speaker and microphone take up more case space than on non-ruggedized phones, and the keyboard is thicker. But most of the extra bulk of the device comes from wrapping the whole thing in about 4mm of rubber for drop resistance.

Sure sounds like Parylene to me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21872548)

Nothing new here... They have been doing this with Parylene for decades. The stuff works great if you have lots of $$$$$

ion-mask coating (1)

Miow (950204) | more than 6 years ago | (#21872766)

Could be used to waterproof people. The man in the Ion-mask would make a good sci-fi series.

snake oil? snake plasma! (1)

snsh (968808) | more than 6 years ago | (#21872932)

I've been using Nanofilm Clarity Defender on my car windshield for years. Similar to RainX, but better. It's a fluoro-functional chlorosilane, which basically coats glass with a somewhat crystalline Tefloney surface. Better than Teflon PTFE, too; pure, amorphous Teflon PTFE is really porous.

What does P2I offer that's new? Looking at patent 6551950, they're doing O2 plasma, followed by a plasma with fluoroinated stuff. CF4/CH2F2 plasma is old hat. Looks like P2I did some experimenting with random other molecules and found one that works better.

I just want to know....... (2, Interesting)

Penguin Follower (576525) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873294)

I just want to know when I can use this to water proof my PC for water cooling! :D
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