Technology

Watch This: Non-Stick Coating Keeps Ketchup Flowing & Airplane Wings Free of Ice

80beatsBy Sarah ZhangMay 23, 2012 4:15 PM

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Let's face it, ketchup bottles suck. When you get down to an almost empty the bottle, plastic ones burp and splat all over your clothes, and glass ones have you awkwardly whacking the "57" on the Heinz bottle. That's why this video of ketchup sliding effortlessly with a tip wrist is so impressive---even surreal. This little bit of magic is the effect of LiquiGlide, a superslippery coating developed by physicists at MIT. The lab headed by Kripa Varanasi initially began researching coatings that could prevent clogs in deep sea oil pipes and ice from sticking to airplane wings. Other research groups have also come up with nonstick coatings that follow the same broad principle: the coating is actually a thin layer of liquid, which allows things to slip right off. Getting the coating into ketchup bottles meant an extra hurdle because the materials had to be food safe. The scientists are keeping mum about what the coating is actually made of---a patent is in the works---but they promise it's all FDA-approved materials. And if you prefer your fries in the Dutch style, don't worry: LiquiGlide handles mayonnaise just as well. [via Fast Company]

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