What if spilling Diet Coke on your cell phone didn’t matter anymore? Solving that problem, and many others, is the goal of new product NeverWet, developed in Lancaster, PA, in part by Baltimore native and Stevenson University grad Mat Sterner.
“Scientists have been studying this conundrum for decades,” says Sterner, pictured, a research and development chemist. “When you put water on various materials, it either makes flat puddles or beads on the surface, like Teflon.”
But Sterner says that scientists have been trying to figure out how to give surfaces a texture, or small towers, that water droplets can sit on top of. The problem with such a delicate texture is how easily it can get damaged with a simple touch. But NeverWet’s technology has two layers to protect that texture. The result is a seemingly futuristic spray that makes virtually anything—electronics, clothing, tires, house siding—waterproof.
NeverWet is available at Home Depot, Walmart, and Lowe’s, and is retailing for $19.99. “Generally, the reactions have been describing it as magic, sorcery, a miracle,” Sterner says. “People aren’t used to seeing liquid just slide right off.”