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Give the Wipers a Rest

Pity the small-boat owner or yacht captain who, in rough weather, has to make sense of what’s ahead as salt spray congeals into a white mess on his windscreen. Pity the same folks who have to clean it all off at the end of every day. But a solution may be in the can. A New Jersey company that distributes a nanotechnology-based surface treatment product has begun to market it to the yachting and fishing industries for keeping windscreens clear.


“Our product provides a clear, hydrophobic, self-cleaning, and contaminant resistant ceramic shell on marine vessel glass, anodized aluminum, stainless steel, chrome, sunglasses, etc.,” says Andy Girodano, co-founder of SNP. “It is proven to improve optical clarity in a variety of conditions by providing a hydrophobic, self-cleaning surface that is resistant to water spotting and oils, algae, ice, salt residue, mold and bacteria.”

SNP was established in 2009 by Giordano and Howard Loveless, two watersports enthusiasts who began applying their SNP Sealant to their surfboards and those of their friends to reduce drag. Experiencing positive feedback, they acquired the exclusive global rights to the product chemistry for the water and snow sports industries. They quickly expanded their business to include the stand-up paddleboard market and have now begun to market to the boating and fishing industries.

The product is silica-based (not silicon) and contains of millions of glass and ceramic nanoparticles that when applied and allowed to air-cure, bonds molecularly with the surface, creating an invisible glass/ceramic skin that is hydrophobic. In essense, says Giordano, the product restructures the porosity of the surface to create "high contact angles," which creates a water droplet "bouncing effect.” Water and contaminants then do not adhere to the surface.

The product chemistry was originally developed as Rain-X alternative for glass, but is equally as effective on many other hard surfaces, he says. The coating is 30 nanometers thick. It adds no weight and can only be removed through abrasive techniques. Since the product is molecularly bonded to the surface, the expected life is one to two years. Since it is silica based, it is not harmful to the environment.

According to Giordano, application is easy. Once the windscreen is thoroughly cleaned, the SNP Sealant is sprayed on a foam pad and applied in a circular motion. When it hazes, you buff it out and apply a second coating, then buff that out. Once applied, it lasts up to a year. Giordano says it can be applied to any exterior surface and many interior surfaces as well, wherever moisture and contaminants build up.

A kit containing a pad and 2 ounces of the sealant costs $29.95 and covers 50 square feet.

Current customers include SeaTow, TowBoatUS, National Response Corporation (marine glass) and the Delaware River Bay Authority (ferry glass). The company also has entered a cooperative testing agreement with the FAA for control tower glass.

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