While we were looking at the performance enhancing effects of nanotechnology over at our motor sport site, it’s worth a quick look at whats happing in the world of car care.
A trip down to your local car accessories store will reveal the greatest concentration of nanotech products, or at least things with ‘Nanotech’ emblazoned on them, anywhere. Turtlewax for example seem to have beyond nanotech to ‘Extreme Nanotech.” You can get Superior Nanowax, Nanolex NanoWax – “based on chemical nanotechnology” or some NANO-WIPE – Invisible Wiper – “based on innovative achievements of nanotechnology.”
The reason for the nano frenzy in automotive accessories is the same as for toilets. Most materials either have or develop sub micron imperfections, cracks and pits than can trap dirt, oil or worse. Rubbing over a suspension of particles much smaller than the size of the imperfection results in the particles filling those cracks, giving a smoother surface. If you get the chemistry right, and the tendency of small particles to stick together rather than disperse helps here, you can seal the particles into the imperfections and the effect can be quite long lasting.
Turtle Wax illustrate the effect for non chemists here.