Feeds

Pilkington perfects self-cleaning window

Cue sobbing bloke up ladder with chamois leather

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Pilkington Glass has invented a window which can clean itself, and the special glass is up for a £50,000 innovation prize.

Pilkington Aciv uses two processes to clean itself. It absorbs ultra-violet light which causes a "photocatalytic" reaction which breaks down dirt on the glass. The coating is also "hydrophilic" so water forms a continuous sheet rather than individual drops - this rinses dirt off the window.

The glass coating is made of titanium dioxide, more often found in sunscreen and toothpaste. The coating is only 15 nanometres thick. It is slightly more expensive than normal glass and has a slight blue tint.

The coating will take up to a week to absorb enough UV light to start eating dirt on the window but once it is "charged up" it will work on overcast days too.

Pilkington recomends the glass be used where cleaning is difficult and the window, or conservatory or sky light, is exposed to sun and rain. If the windows do need cleaning simply hosing down with water should be enough.

The glass has made the short list for the MacRobert Award, given by the Royal Academy of Engineering. There are four finalists this year: Delphi Diesel Systems is on the list for a two valve fuel injector system which cuts emissions from diesel engines. IBM's Websphere MQ middleware which allows 40 different computer platforms talk to each other is still in the running. The final entry is a 3D imaging system from Sharp Labs - it is used on DoCoMo mobile phones and by airport security staff looking at X-ray images of luggage. The winner will be announced 10 June.

There are more details of the glass here, and more on the MacRobert prize here. ®

Related stories

IBM UK in running for £50k innovation purse
IBM bangs drum for client middleware
Biometric recognition gets right in your face

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
What's that PONG? Rosetta probe shoves nose under comet's tail
Rotten eggs, horse dung and almonds – yuck
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.