LiquiGlide Coating, Your New Condiment Lubricant

The days of ketchup-related frustration have come to an end! Just in time for summer cookouts, MIT researchers announce the development of LiquiGlide, the amazing super-slippery coating.

Watch this video, which will bring tears to the eyes of anyone who got stuck with the almost empty bottle of ketchup and was told not to waste anything.


(LiquiGlide-coated ketchup bottle)

MIT PhD candidate Dave Smith. He and a team of mechanical engineers and nano-technologists at the Varanasi Research Group have been held up in an MIT lab for the last two months addressing this common dining problem.

The result? LiquiGlide, a "super slippery" coating made up of nontoxic materials that can be applied to all sorts of food packaging--though ketchup and mayonnaise bottles might just be the substanceís first targets. Condiments may sound like a narrow focus for a group of MIT engineers, but not when you consider the impact it could have on food waste and the packaging industry. "Itís funny: Everyone is always like, 'Why bottles? Whatís the big deal?' But then you tell them the market for bottles--just the sauces alone is a $17 billion market," Smith says. "And if all those bottles had our coating, we estimate that we could save about one million tons of food from being thrown out every year."

As Smith describes it, LiquiGlide is a surface thatís unique because itís "kind of a structured liquid--itís rigid like a solid, but itís lubricated like a liquid."

Fans of Frank Herbert's Dune technology, from his 1965 novel Dune recall that the Fremen used similar technology:

A splashing sounded on her left. She looked down the shadowy line of Fremen, saw Stilgar with Paul standing beside him and the watermasters emptying their load into the pool through a flowmeter. ...

Superb accuracy in water measurement, Jessica thought. And she noted that the walls of the meter trough held no trace of moisture after the water's passage. The water flowed off those walls without binding tension. She saw a profound clue to Fremen technology in the simple fact: they were perfectionists.
(Read more about Frank Herbert's water repellent surface from Dune

As are MIT engineers.

Last week, LiquiGlide came in second place, out of 215 teams, in MITís $100k Entrepreneurship Competition.

Via Fast Coexist.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/21/2012)

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