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Friday, February 2, 2018

A Very Exciting Gift for the IWCA 2018 Convention

This is a very very special post and my gift for the 2018 IWCA Convention in Florida.  I will be telling you things in this post that I haven't told anyone else.  Things I am quite sure most manufacturers would love to know.  Because as much as we might not think it, these manufacturers like Unger, Ettore, Moerman, Sorbo, and many others really do have their finger on the pulse of our industry.  Especially the Water Fed Pole industry.  Don't be fooled my friends.  To put it quite bluntly they are not stupid!  They know that we have been searching for the Holy Grail of WFP Window Cleaning.  I will be explaining what that is exactly in very precise words.  Further, and this is the real big one, I will introduce you to the company that will open the floodgates to this technology.  The time is NOW!  So read on.  And please share these words with one another at the convention this year.  I only wish that I could be there with you.  I really really mean that.

What exactly IS the Holy Grail of WFP work?  NOT what you would expect.  Perry Tait claims that he has a special brush capable of making glass hydrophylic (water loving), but only for the time it takes for the water to sheet off the window.  He has even posted videos to demonstrate.  This shows that Reach It is very much aware of what we are looking for.  Further it is true that scrubbing the glass with bronze wool will convert hydrophobic glass to hydrophylic.  I have done it with white scrub pads too.  I have also done it using compounds based on microabrasive compounds like silica and cerium oxide.  I have developed slow release coatings that are water activated which will do the same thing.  But all of this is NOT the Holy Grail.  There are products based on glass etchants that when applied to glass almost instantly etch the glass, turning it from hydrophobic to hydrophylic.  I would never suggest using these under any circumstance however.  But no friends, these are also NOT the Holy Grail.  There are surfactants used in agriculture which are called Super Wetters that will lower the water surface tension from 72 down to 20 dynes.  These will cause your rinse water to completely sheet over a glass surface that has been treated with a hydrophobic coating such as Rain X, Aqaupel, Enduro Shield, or the one endorsed by Marc Tanner, Nanovations NG1010.  Never mind just plain old hydrophobic glass.  They do this at only .01 percent.  The rinse water drains off the glass leaving absolutely no spots when done the right way under the right conditions.  But they also are NOT the Holy Grail.  There are coatings too that will bond to glass making it hydrophylic.  Then even high TDS water will sheet over the glass and drain off leaving no spots.  But they are NOT the Holy Grail.  Do you really want to know what it truly IS?  Very simply it is all of these except for any product based on a glass etchant.  It is the unique combination of these different answers according to the conditions we are working with at the time. This requires knowledge and understanding of this technology.  Which I call the technology of hydrophylic water fed pole window cleaning. 

To simplify there are three basic components that must be integrated into a whole solution which IS the Holy Grail.  Number one is to physically deep clean the glass so that the true hydrophylic surface is exposed to the rinse water.  Number two is to add just the right amount of the "correct" superwetter/surfactant to the rinse water to reduce the surface tension to aproximately 20 dynes.  Number three is to apply an additional chemical to the window that will coat the "activated" glass surface with a hydrophylic polymer.  So physically deep clean, use a superwetter, and coat with a hydrophylic polymer.  There it is in one sentence.  

Now to introduce you to the company that will help to open the floodgates to the Holy Grail.  Here is a link to the company website.

Siltech Corporation Logo

In their own words "Siltech develops, manufactures and markets a full line of organo-functional silicone compounds and related specialties for specific customer applications, using our patented as well as proprietary technology. With more than 25 years of experience, our expertise includes  organo-modified silicone surfactants and silicone polymers, including a full line of catonic, quarternary and di-functional silicones, as well as a number of reactive silicones. In these fields Siltech owns more than 30 patents.".  Why is this so important?  Simply because silicon based chemistry is the means by which many specialty coatings for glass including both hydrophobic and hydrophylic treatments have been created.  Whether these coatings are organic or not.  Also the second and the third component to developing the Holy Grail relies on this chemistry.  Another very big reason why I know absolutely that this company will open the gates has to do with public relations.  A number of months ago I opened a dialog with one of the leading chemists that work for Siltech.  I have also had communication with others in the company.  It seams that everyone that works there including the owner and president are very humble and totally focused on customer support.  There was never any questions about sending out samples.  Never a charge for samples.  I was also told that they have plenty of resources to build anything that we wanted.  By we I am talking about the window cleaning industry.  Check this out. "Siltech has two modern plants, one located in Toronto, Canada and the other in Mississauga, Canada. Both plants are equipped with efficient, large-scale, high-temperature and pressure reactors, thin film evaporators and other modern equipment required in such unit processes as equilibration, hydrosililation, quarternization, amidation, phosphation, esterification, etc.
In addition to allocating considerable development resources to the refinement and optimization of production techniques, which have resulted in a unique processing technology, we at Siltech pay special attention to the changing technological requirements of the industries we serve.
Our R&D and technical service laboratories are modernly equipped and staffed by chemists with many years of experience in diverse segments of the chemical processing industry. In addition, we have efficient pilot plant facilities available to produce special products for your experimental needs."

Now you tell me, does that sound like a company that is willing to work with our industry or what?  I am getting shivers as I write this.  Literally!  I mean give me a break people.  The stuff that the Glass Committee has accomplished over the last eight years with Paul West and Dr. Paul Duffer leading us has been unbelievable.  This Glass Committee and the IWCA that we have now is nothing but incredible.  They are totally focused on the scratched glass issue and have devoted so much time to it.  Much more than myself.  All I do is write an article for the AWC.  There is another fantastic advance.  Since Michael Draper took it over that magazine has been turning out some of the greatest articles.  I have also been totally blown away by Lee Burbridges articles in the WCM, and am very happy to be a part of that.  What the Lambrinides have accomplished through their networking and the development of an inside community/forum that is now called the WCR Nation in such a relatively short time is nothing short of incredible.  This stuff was just NOT happening twenty years ago when I gave my seminars in Texas and Florida. 

So enjoy the 2018 IWCA Convention.  This is my gift.  Many more are coming soon.  Keep your eye on the Glass Smart Product Review.  And if you would like to receive these posts directly in your inbox just type your address in the box at the top right, "Follow by Email".

Written by Henry Grover Jr.

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