Making a splash in consumer goods

25 February 2011

Research reveals reluctance to buy expensive mobile phones for fear of accidental damage

Research reveals reluctance to buy expensive mobile phones for fear of accidental damage.

P2i, a liquid repellent nano-coating technology company, recently commissioned research which shows that 43% of people in the US would be put off buying an expensive mobile phone for fear of accidentally damaging it.

The research of 1,065 adults (weighted to represent the adult population of the United States aged 18-64 and interviewed between 2-6 December 2010) conducted by TNS, also reveals that two in five people had already damaged their phone by either dropping it in water or spilling liquid on it. Damage caused by scratching and staining was reported by a third of respondents and an additional 45 people also claimed damage to their phones caused by a pet.

Anticipating the need for enhanced protection of these devices, P2i has launched Aridion, its nano-coating for high performance smartphones and other consumer electronics. Proven to provide invisible protection against damage, corrosion and staining caused by liquids, Aridion ensures that mobile phones always look and perform at their best, while minimising warranty failure and repair costs.

Dr. Stephen Coulson, CTO at P2i, comments: “As consumer electronic devices become smaller, lighter and sleeker, there’s less space for traditional engineered solutions that deter liquids. As a result, mobile phones and other gadgets are a significant new market for nano-coating technologies. Aridion is already providing protection for more than three million hearing aid users worldwide and we expect it to generate significant interest from manufacturers of other consumer electronics devices.”

Aridion is applied by using a special pulsed ionised gas (plasma), which is created within a vacuum chamber, to attach a nanoscopic polymer layer – one thousand times thinner than a human hair – to the device. This dramatically lowers the product's surface energy so that when liquid comes into contact with it, they form beads and simply roll off. In fact, the process confers superior oil and water repellence by reducing the surface energy to ultra-low levels – down to one third that of PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene).

Furthermore, because Aridion can coat every aspect of a finished product –inside and out – it protects much more thoroughly than alternative approaches where individual product components are treated prior to assembly. The result is a truly durable liquid repellent coating that does not affect the product's look, feel or functionality.

“Aridion is the ultimate protective shield for high-performance smartphones and would clearly benefit those people surveyed, where they had accidentally damaged their cell phones in one or more ways. Transforming conventional levels of reliability by substantially reducing warranty failure and repair costs, Aridion not only increases consumer confidence but also benefits manufacturers too. What we can’t guarantee, however, is protection from the dual danger posed by children and pets,” added Coulson.


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