Water resistant coating to protect future smartphones from H2O damage

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Consumers may soon have a new weapon in the never-ending battle to safeguard electronics against H2O. Daikin Industries is developing a water-resistant coating that could help protect circuit boards found inside smartphones and other small hand-held devices that are prone to water damage.

The product is created by dissolving a fluoropolymer into a fluorinated solvent. The polymer is nonflammable and is said to be environmentally friendly due to a low toxicity level.

The coating process involves dipping a circuit board or other material into the fluorinated solvent. The solution dries into a very thin film (0.1 to 1 micron thick) in only one minute at room temperature at which time it’s ready for action. The film is much thinner than previous products where a thicker coating was needed. The coating even works on porous or mesh surfaces like speaker grills, points of access where water typically enters a submerged device.

The film isn’t fully waterproof but rather will help electronics achieve a higher baseline for everyday standards. Demonstrations in the video above show gadgets fully submerged in liquid for an extended period of time, meaning the next time your buddy shoves you into a pool unexpectedly, your phone might stand a chance of surviving.

Daikin Industries is planning to commercially release the product in December 2012 with the hopes of finding other uses for it in the meantime. There’s no mention of whether any manufacturers have inked a deal to bring the tech to next generation smartphones.

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