A glass door that looks like a glass plate is being developed by researchers at Oxford University in an effort to protect plants from predators.
The idea is to reduce the damage to the glass by allowing the water in the glass to pass through.
Glass is also one of the most durable materials on Earth and it can withstand temperatures of up to 6C (17F) and pressures of up by about 100g (2.6lb).
However, the water-resistant coating has a problem: it’s not water-repellent.
“The glass has a water-soluble coating, but the water doesn’t get trapped in the structure and the surface becomes slippery,” says Dr Claire Leighton-Hewitt from the department of environmental and environmental engineering at Oxford.
“You have to add some water to it and then add some lime to keep it stable.”
The team has come up with a solution that combines the two.
The researchers coated a thin layer of lime onto a layer of polyethylene polystyrene (PET) with a water barrier.
When the researchers put a drop of lime on top of the PET and placed it on top, they created a barrier.
It has been tested and it has worked well.
“We have been able to remove some of the water and get it into the structure,” says Leighton.
She says the barrier has a low energy barrier, but still allows water to escape.
“There are two reasons for that: firstly it is not a water repellent and secondly it is resistant to the acidity of water,” she says.
“And you need to add a barrier to keep the water from getting stuck in the surface.”
The solution is still a long way from being ready for use.
“It will be years before it will be commercially viable,” says Professor John Wood from the School of Environmental Science and Technology at the University of Exeter.
“But it does appear to be worth pursuing in this context.”
The researchers say their new glass door could be used in homes, hotels and even restaurants, and it could be ready for the roads by 2035.
But it will take time to make sure that it is effective, because it has been formulated in a way that works with different materials.
The glass can also be damaged by light and UV rays, which can damage the surface and reduce the effectiveness of the barrier.
“Our work is a step in the right direction, but we will need to improve it to work with the best possible materials,” says Wood.
In the meantime, the researchers are working on a different approach that they hope will improve their glass door.
“To achieve the best of protection, we need to use materials that are able to penetrate water and remain in place, which is the challenge of this new material,” says Margo Lippmann from the university’s Department of Environmental and Environmental Engineering.
“In this case, the glass surface is protected by a polymer barrier that is water-resistance.”
In the future, the team will be looking at adding a second layer of plastic and an improved polymer.