A team at the University of British Columbia has developed a coating that has something called low interfacial toughness – in short, instead of ice building up on your car until it’s almost impossible to scrape off… it collapses under its own weight and just slides to the ground. Not all heroes wear capes. Plus: some heroes do wear capes, they just get turned away from the scene by the Mounties.
Clearing an icy windshield is about to get easier, says UBC engineer (University of British Columbia)
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Am I really hijacking my own show to complain about the weather?
Yeah, I am, because I’m a grumpy old fellow.
My lawn needs to be cut and I was all set to do it this past weekend, but it started snowing! In late April! I am writing a stern letter to someone about this.
Ok, actually, it was not that bad and I have a garage, so I didn’t even have to shovel off my car.
But if I did need to shovel, I would probably be very happy to hear that researchers at the University of British Columbia may have come up with a way to help out all our fellow motorists who suffer so mightily with their ice scrapers and shovels when wintry weather comes to town.
In short, the problem with getting ice off your car is that ice sticks really well to the materials we use to make cars and lots of other things.
The researchers developed a coating that has something called low interfacial toughness.
Ice can still form on its surface, but the coating means that it forms with little cracks all around its base.
So as it gets thicker and thicker to the point that it would be almost impossible to scrape off, it collapses under its own weight and just slides to the ground.
The researchers say the coating could work just as well on some of the other surfaces where ice wreaks havoc, like the wings of airplanes, electric lines, even those ice cube trays that you have to basically fold in half to get a single cube out.
But as useful as this coating is, the best part is the acronym for low interfacial toughness: a surface that’s truly LIT.
That research about making it harder for ice to build up on our cars was done in part at the University of British Columbia’s campus in a town called Kelowna.
Just a few weeks before this research goes out into the world, something else very remarkable happened in the same town.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police responded to some kind of public disturbance.
Authorities draw their weapons, a crowd gathers, the media shows up… and then, as seen on a video recorded at the scene, so does a dude dressed in a full Bat-suit.
He walks over and offers assistance to the Mounties. They say no thanks. And that’s that.
At least he didn’t have to scrape any ice off his Batmobile.