Water is necessary for life here on planet earth. However, this nourishing element also has a knack for submerging cities and causing massive damage. It can rot wood, rust anything metallic and was responsible for roughly $108 billion of damage during Hurricane Katrina. Though many of these destructive processes seem inevitable, water has just recently met its match.

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A product named Ultra-Ever Dry, developed by NeverWet LLC and distributed by UltraTech Int., has the power to make almost any surface entirely waterproof with a simple spray from a can. Mark Shaw, CEO of UltraTech, is confident that for next few decades, most of the major breakthroughs in the marketable tech world will be based on nanotechnology, the field of science behind the Ultra-Ever Dry. So, how does it work?

“There are two main aspects regarding the ability of a coating to be superhydrophobic to water-based fluids and some oils and chemicals,” Shaw said. ” The surface energy of the coating must be less than the surface energy of the fluid it is trying to repel.  Higher surface energy keeps drops of fluid almost round.”
If the surface energy of a material like denim, with a relatively large amount of space between fibers, is higher than the energy of water, then the material becomes wet. With an application of Ultra-Ever Dry to the fabric, the distance between the fibers is sealed creating a surface that the water can become rounded on and eventually roll off.
“The coating must also have a surface that has peaks and valleys on a microscopic level that allows the round fluid droplets to flow on the peaks and compress the air in the valleys,” Shaw said. “With only three to four percent of the droplet touching the surface, it allows the fluid to glide over the layer of air.  The result is the surface never gets wet.”
Ever Dry technology has nearly a decade of research behind it from universities, companies, and governments with the first prototypes becoming available in 2007. UltraTech was the first to market the product. Additionally, UltraTech has adapted the technology to various other outlets.
UltraTech recently obtained the rights to a similar nanotechnology used by the military to make tents and battlefield uniforms entirely water and stain repellant, eliminating the need for laundering. The company is also in the midst of obtaining the rights to another adaptation that will allow surfaces to be odor repellant, possibly ending the need for laundry all-together.
As the product has become increasingly adaptable to clothing, decks, microchips and drones, the cost has dropped 25 percent since just last year. The uses for the product continue to exponentially increase.
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Since the product is hydrophobic, Ultra-Ever Dry also eliminates ice formation. This has applications for windshields, ice-fishing boats and roofs.
What can we expect for future developments of this technology?
The global adaptations of nanotechnology have created an international push to develop the product. China has built a whole city dedicated to researching the applications while the U.S. has invested over $20 billion in nanotechnology over the last 10 years.
Nanotechnology has the potential to change most of the most important aspects of our lives and create a new economic engine, much the same way computers and information technologies made an impact since 1980. Russia, Germany and others are in a race to develop this new, emerging industry to gain a global advantage for their citizens and economies.  The U.S. government has invested over $20 billion in Nanotechnology in the last 10 years.
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Some of the biggest effects to be made by the technology are in the energy, clothing and health sectors.
“Nanotechnology will make all of these areas better in ways it is hard for most of us to even imagine,” Shaw said. “Nano particles that create artificial blood, self-cleaning cars and windows, clothes that will not stain and not need washing, solid sheets of particles one atom thick, computing using an atom and novel fuel cells, to name just a few.”