Aridion, a new liquid repellent nano-coating that protects hearing aids against corrosion and warranty failure, will be showcased by P2i at AudiologyNOW! 2010.
Already used by three of the world’s largest hearing aid manufacturers, Aridion is applied using a special pulsed ionized 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 hearing aid. This dramatically lowers the product’s surface energy, so that when humidity or sweat comes into contact with it, they form beads and simply roll off.
This helps transform the reliability of hearing aids, which contain delicate, expensive components at high risk of liquid damage—improving battery life, minimizing warranty failure and repair costs, and increasing user confidence.
Because Aridion coats every aspect of a finished product at the nanoscopic level, it protects more thoroughly than alternative approaches where individual product components are treated prior to assembly. The result is a durable liquid repellent coating that does not affect the product’s look, feel or delicate acoustic properties, according to the company.
How the P2i technology works
P2i’s technology works by applying a nanometre-thin polymer layer over the entire surface of a product. Using an ionised gas (plasma) this layer is molecularly bound to the surface and will not leach away. The process confers superior oil and water repellency by reducing the surface energy to ultra-low levels – down to one third that of PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene). In footwear and textile applications, P2i’s technology also minimises liquid absorption from outside elements and evaporated perspiration.
P2i Ltd was established in 2004 to commercialize liquid-repellent treatments developed by the UK’s Ministry of Defence. Now on a commercial scale, P2i’s patented process has been successfully applied to a wide range of products in a wide range of markets including performance textiles, electronic devices, filtration media and bio-consumables.
In consumer sectors, the presence of P2i’s technology is indicated either by ion-mask, its brand for footwear, outdoor clothing and accessories, or Aridion, its brand for electronics.