We could have easily filed this under "Too Good to Be True" or "Snake Oil," but it sounds legit, and certainly has our attention. Researchers in The Netherlands' Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) have developed a self-healing vehicle coating, meaning that one day, you may not have to wash your car.
Catarina Esteves of the department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry at TU/e and her team claims to have invented a solution to the problem of minor scrapes. Apparently the nano-capsule technology features special chemical groups that are able to re-orient themselves in the event that a surface with this compound is scratched.
The potential automotive use for this technology is obvious; it allows for the development of coatings that are not only water-resistant, but scratch resistant. A minor rain shower is all it would take to keep the car clean.
The implementation of this technology is not limited to the automotive world – it can also be employed on contact lenses, smartphone screens, and solar panels.
The benefit it could provide to the aviation industry would be two-fold. A plane employing this coating would not only need less frequent cleaning, but the inability for algae and dirt to build up means that the aircraft would allow for less wind resistance, resoling in more fuel efficient flying.