A windshield that resists damage from road debris, repels raindrops, and makes bug removal easier may be in your future.
By Jim Brightly, F358406
A windshield with a surface that has been sealed with Diamon-Fusion’s bonding agent is said to be up to 10 times stronger than standard windshield glass and to shrug off most road debris without a visible injury. Rain, snow, and splashed water reportedly slough off without impairing a driver’s vision, and dead insects can be cleaned from the surface with less effort.
How is this accomplished? I could go into a long-winded discussion about contact angles, surface tension, topography, and polarity, but I’d rather keep it in terms most of us understand. Let me use just one term most of us don’t understand: hydrophobic nanotechnology.
- Hydrophobic: not capable of uniting with or absorbing water.
- Nanotechnology: the art of manipulating materials on an atomic or molecular scale, especially to build microscopic devices. Of course, the root word “nano” signifies one billionth part of something. This is the next size smaller than a micro unit, which is a one millionth part of something.
Using hydrophobic nanotechnology, the Diamon-Fusion product seals the windshield glass to form such a smooth surface that virtually nothing can adhere to it. As a “side effect” of this sealing process, the glass is made much stronger and more able to resist damage from road debris.
Perhaps the easiest way to describe what the surface of a windshield looks like before and after Diamon-Fusion bonding would be to use water as an analogy. Think of the storm-tossed Pacific Ocean along the Oregon coast in the middle of winter. The surface is covered with huge waves that seem to be flowing in every direction at once, creating deep valleys, steep slopes, and high peaks. Now remember what the water surface looked like on a calm, still lake at sunrise with the only surface blemishes being caused by bird takeoffs or insect landings.
Although to our eyes and touch, windshield glass seems to be one of the smoothest surfaces we can find, this is not the case under magnification. Before being bonded down to the nano-level with Diamon-Fusion, the glass surface, when viewed under a strong enough microscope, resembles that storm-stirred sea. The peaks and valleys provide water, bugs, and road debris a resting place.
After the Diamon-Fusion application, however, the windshield surface “” at the same magnification “” more closely resembles that mirror-like surface of the still lake. It’s so smooth that it has no pits or valleys to which objects can cling, and, therefore, water, bugs, etc. fall off.
The actual application, which can be accomplished in the field at an RV dealer or other certified location with the proper equipment, takes about an hour, depending on the size of the windshield. The Diamon-Fusion application uses a chemical vapor deposition process that is applicable to most surfaces containing silica (silicon dioxide), such as glass, ceramic tile, porcelain, and granite. The specially formulated vapors react with the moisture on the surface and the silica in the substrate that’s to be treated. The application is performed by trained technicians using a specially designed apparatus. It creates special “cross-linked and branched, capped silicone films” that are covered under Diamon-Fusion’s patents.
The application is generated by a two-stage chemical process as follows:
Stage 1: The chemical reaction created in the first stage causes a “cross-linked and branched” silicone film to be grown outward from below the surface. After converting the chlorine atoms to oxygen-hydrogen groups using additional moisture (chlorine is left at the end of the atom chains after the first stage), a second specially formulated vapor is introduced to the surface.
Stage 2: The second-stage vapor “caps” the entire chain of atoms. This capping substantially increases the hydrophobicity (resistance to moisture absorption) and durability, leaving “” chemically speaking “” no points of attachment for contaminants and creating a truly repellent charge.
According to Diamon-Fusion officials, the bond created in its patented process is a covalent bond, said to be the strongest possible bond “” in chemical terms “” that a hydrophobic coating can generate. A covalent bond means that the coating shares the electrons within the glass itself, thus becoming a part of the glass. Company officials noted that covalent bonds are approximately 10 times stronger than hydrogen bridge bonds, which are commonly present in most other water-repellent coatings.
Obviously, this is a very simplified explanation of a chemical reaction that occurs when the Diamon-Fusion processes are applied to a motorhome’s windshield. Diamon-Fusion officials note that with proper maintenance this coating will last for virtually the life of the windshield. Customers are provided a maintenance kit for this purpose. The windshield reportedly will not discolor, nor will it become opaque, and the cost of the Diamon-Fusion process will be offset by the convenience of spending less time scrubbing off bugs and by clearer visibility during inclement weather. Because of the wide variety of motorhome windshield sizes, a cost estimate will have to be provided by a dealer.
Diamon-Fusion not only offers those benefits, but it also is said to make the glass more difficult to scratch or break. According to Diamon-Fusion officials, actual test results show that an object must weigh up to 10 times more to cause the same damage to a Diamon-Fusion-treated surface than an untreated one. The Diamon-Fusion treatment is guaranteed for four years from the date of the application regardless of mileage before or after the application. According to Diamon-Fusion officials, if the windshield should be pitted or cracked during the warranty period, Diamon-Fusion will replace the windshield free of charge.
Happiness is a clean windshield, and you probably won’t find a smoother or cleaner windshield than one protected by Diamon-Fusion.
Diamon-Fusion USA; P.O. Box 1848; West Babylon, NY 11704; (866) 342-6661; www.diamon-fusionusa.com.