Researchers have developed a technology that could make washing your car a thing of the past.
Catarina Esteves and her colleagues from Netherlands' Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) have created a highly water-resistant car coating that not only heals superficial scratches, but encourages specs of dirt to roll off the car in drops of water.
While water-resistant and self-healing coatings are nothing new, previous applications are vulnerable to damage.
Esteves and company seemed to have solved this problem by developing a surface with special nano-sized 'stalks' that carry the functional chemical groups at their end.
If the outer layer is removed by a scratch, the underlying layer of the 'stalk' reorients itself and makes a new surface.
All that's needed is an occasional rain storm.
According to the researchers, aircrafts using the coating could reduce fuel costs because a cleaner surface means less wind resistance.
Other applications for the technology could be used on ships and contact lenses.
Although Esteves and her team are developing the technology but they expect the first coatings to be on the market in six to eight years.