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Winter seems like it’s never going to end, doesn’t it? Just the other day, we got another few inches of snow even though it’s long past time when it’s supposed to be spring. With snow comes the inevitable scraping of windshields, shoveling of sidewalks, and plowing of roads. If you’ve got satellite TV, snow can build up in the dish and interfere with your signal. These are all inconveniences to most of us, but what about if you’re trying to travel by airplane? More than once I’ve sat on a runway, waiting for my plane to be de-iced so we can take off. More than once that flight has been cancelled because the snow is falling so heavily they simply cannot keep up.

Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a new ice-repellent coating that can be used on everything from your porch railings to jumbo jetliners, and while it’s not commercially available at this point I’m sure it will be eventually. The coating is a spray that is easy to apply, and once it’s in place snow removal can be as simple as letting gravity pull it to the ground. On flatter surfaces you’ll still have to brush it off, but it’ll take minimal effort and be done far quicker than any current methods.

The coating is rubber-based, and will also be used to create more efficient freezers by keeping them virtually frost free as well as about 20% more energy efficient. Their first planned application is going to be frozen food packaging, since foods often stick inside and force us to let it go to waste. They predict this first stage will happen within the next year, and further applications will follow as they develop specific formulas for various uses.


Source: Engadget

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