Feeds

Pilkington perfects self-cleaning window

Cue sobbing bloke up ladder with chamois leather

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
India's MOM Mars mission makes final course correction
Mangalyaan probe will feel the burn of orbital insertion on September 24th
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.