CAMBRIDGE, MA – LiquiGlide Inc. announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has awarded the company three new patents. One of the patents (No. 9,371,173) protects the company’s broad use of liquid-impregnated surfaces for packaging and processing as well as large containers such as manufacturing tanks – a key new area of focus for the company. The recently issued patents expand the company’s intellectual property (IP) portfolio to include 13 total globally issued patents, with more than 150 applications pending around the world.
“Most ‘real’ liquids around us are non-Newtonian and behave as sticky pastes. The new patent by LiquidGlide shows how non-Newtonian matter can be rendered mobile on liquid-impregnated textured materials,” said David Quéré, an expert on interface science and professor at Ecole Polytechnique and ESPCI, France. “This patent sets the stage for major applications, in particular, because the kind of container that can be treated has no limitation in terms of size, material and shape. It is now possible to transform the generally solid-like behavior of these special liquids into a fluid behavior, that is, from sticky to slippery – a major breakthrough in industrial and daily life applications.”
In addition, LiquiGlide also received patents No. 9,309,162 and No. 9,254,496, which cover permanently slippery surfaces made of ceramic materials for extreme durability and articles for manipulating impinging liquids and eliminating ice buildup.
“Our IP portfolio is valuable because we have broad patents that protect everything from foundational concepts necessary for making liquid-impregnated surfaces to enormous markets, including industrial manufacturing,” said LiquiGlide’s Head of IP Strategy and General Counsel, Alex Ewing. “These newly issued patents add to the IP fortress we are building around our unique technology and provide the foundation for us to continue to make innovative coating applications for a variety of new industries.”
LiquiGlide’s growing patent portfolio covers its unique, permanently wet slippery surfaces, which consist of liquids trapped in a matrix of solid, micro-scale features – reducing friction for viscous liquids moving across treated surfaces. Building on research at MIT, LiquiGlide is revolutionizing the way people and businesses move liquids by engineering slippery surface coatings that allow viscous liquids to slide over solids where they would otherwise stick.
“All viscous liquids are at some point either made or stored in a tank, and most are sold in packages. The fact that the viscous liquids stick to the surfaces of these containers frustrates both companies and consumers,” said LiquiGlide’s Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board, and MIT Professor, Kripa Varanasi. “At LiquiGlide, we are revolutionizing the way viscous liquids are made, moved, stored and sold, eliminating waste and inefficiencies. And the new patents we’ve been awarded will be highly valuable as we continue to commercialize this technology and provide these benefits to an even broader customer base.”
LiquiGlide Inc. is expanding its super-slippery coating platform beyond consumer packaging to focus on applications in manufacturing. With the patented LiquiGlide CleanTanX™ system, the company is providing an industry solution that addresses the manufacturing challenges created by viscous liquids sticking to equipment, such as blenders, reactors and tanks.
“Viscous products sticking to the inside of tanks leads to huge ineffiencies across industries,” said Varanasi. “For example, in paint manufacturing alone, paint sticking to the inside of mixing and holding tanks costs the industry more than 100 million gallons of lost product and billions of dollars per year in associated waste costs. At LiquiGlide, we are on a mission to eliminate waste generated in the manufacturing of viscous products and usher in a new era of sustainable manufacturing.”
LiquiGlide’s CleanTanX system is custom-engineered for each coating application depending on manufacturing specifications and product properties. The technology is retrofitted onsite by LiquiGlide, without having to remove the tanks, which minimizes installation costs and operational downtime. In addition, LiquiGlide works closely with its customers to validate coating performance, product compatibility and cost savings.
Overall, the CleanTanX system provides significant sustainability and profitability benefits for manufacturers of viscous or sticky products, including significant reductions in product waste, water consumption, and worker exposure to confined spaces.