On Mon, 08 Feb 2010 22:33:27 -0700, the infamous Mark & Juanita
Yum! Looks like a lovely, milky-white film.
In order that people may be happy in their work, these three things are
needed: They must be fit for it. They must not do too much of it. And
they must have a sense of success in it.
-- John Ruskin, Pre-Raphaelitism, 1850
Why thicker? It seems to me that the thinness is what makes it so
valuable. Flexibility generally means durability for coatings (given
a reasonable hardness for the application).
The part that needs clarification is the breathe-ability claim.
When it feels so good because you stopped hitting yourself in the head
with a hammer, it will be time to check out the HDPE plastic wood guy
in the hood.
1/2" x 9" facia board @ $2.01/ft
2x4 @ $2.11/ft
2x6 @ $3.72/f
as a typical offerings for 12 ft lengths start looking pretty good.
Hmmm looks like a 100nm thick layer. I wonder if there are
interference effects since you have two discontinuities in the index
of refraction? Could imagine that if sprayed on curved surfaces the
reflections and scattered light could be "interesting". Thinking of
a set of carved candle sticks with rope designs and lots and lots of
So there is a ponderance for Morris Dovey: is there any benefit to
micro-coatings for solar capture? And is SiO_2 going to withstand the
heat of your Stirling engine at the collector?
I can see possible benefits, but would need considerably more
information than they're providing to know for sure. There are two areas
where it /might/ shine (please pardon the pun):
If it protects metal from oxidation then it would permit using less
expensive aluminum (bonded to an even less expensive substrate) for
There may some potential for coating interior surfaces of fluidyne
engine pumps to reduce corrosion and friction caused by surface fouling
from "junk" in the pumped water.
I think both applications will depend on whether these folks are
interested in more than just the "low-hanging fruit".
It'll be interesting to see where they go from where they are.
I thought the blurb was interesting too, but I was put off by the lack
of detail. How do they get the "silica" into small particles or
solution in water? I believe that pure silica may dissolve under very
alkaline conditions in water, but that is very old memory only. There
is no possibility (I hope) of small 100 nm particles to get loose?
There is some controversy now as to whether "nanotubes" may be
carcinogenic similar to asbestos particles. That would NOT be good for
small silica particles. I apologize for not having references for the
stated doubts ...
I didn't because I can get spectral stainless foil in any
thickness/width/length I might need from competing suppliers - and
because the last time I needed aluminum (in a form not available at Ace
or Menards or TruValue stores) I spent three months trying and literally
could not get _any_ US company (neither manufacturer nor distributor) to
talk to me - and ended up having to buy a 25km minimum order from a
Pacific Rim supplier.
[ That supplier was a Japanese firm with a production facility on
Taiwan. Dealing with them was an incredible experience of win-win
negotiation, amiable mutual respect, and complete absence of any kind of
BS. A flurry of e-mails over two days got us to price/quantity levels we
could both accept - I drove to the bank to do an EFT, and when I got
home ten minutes later, there was a "Thank you for your order and
payment" e-mail in my Inbox. Less than two days after that the order had
been produced and was airborne from the factory en route to Des Moines.
It was exactly what I needed and the quality was uniformly excellent. ]
Locally, anodizing services are expensive, and I'm not confident that
I'd end up with the quality I'd need. A single molecule thick SiO2
coating might work if it prevented oxidation, had sufficient longevity,
and could be renewed without degrading the mirrors, but these folks
aren't offering reassurances in any of those directions. Still, it looks
like a technology worth keeping an eye on.
I built a whole bunch of prototype absorber/exchangers for testing and
some fewer production units to ship. It was a Good Thing that the stuff
was exactly what was needed, because I still have a healthy supply. :)
It really _was_ scary, since I knew nothing about the folks with whom I
was dealing - but I can't imagine how they might have treated me better.
I won't hesitate to do business with that outfit again.
Sure, right after one or the other of us wins the lottery. :)
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