Sunday, August 4, 2013

(05-08-2013) NeverWet makes the Raspberry Pi and other gadgets waterproof [ G4dG33t ]

NeverWet makes the Raspberry Pi and other gadgets waterproof Aug 5th 2013, 00:58

Chips By Sal Cangeloso Aug. 2, 2013 5:31 pm

NeverWet electronics

Here at Geek.com we've spent a lot of time with NeverWet, the amazing superhydrophic coating from Rustoleum. At $ 20 and available at Home Depot stores across the US, NeverWet is incredibly accessible and an ideal subject for home projects. We've tested NeverWet on clothing and shoes and cardboard and all sorts of other things but, in what I freely admit was a huge oversight on our part, we've yet to test it out on electronic devices. Luckily, the team at Adafruit took the time to do extensive testing.

In our defense, I'd just note that NeverWet's preview video might have used a coated smartphone in a torture test, but the product's packaging clearly states that NeverWet was not designed to be used with electronics. The FAQ page could not be more clear about this:

3. Can NeverWet be used on electronics?
No, NeverWet should not be used on electronics.

Being good geeks we clearly should have ignored that, as it's clearly there to cover Rustoleum in the case that you destroy your new iPad or something else expensive and send your class action-loving lawyer after the company. Regardless, here are electronic devices covered in NeverWet and then submerged, misted, sprayed, and hosed down with water…

The video features the Raspberry Pi, LED light strips, Adafruit's Citi bike helmet, the company's Flora wearable electronics board, an Arduino Micro and a few LEDs, all sopping wet. The verdict? Based on what we see in the video, NeverWet actually gets the job done. The Raspberry Pi in the video survives a full submersion while operating, and the Flora take a full-on blast from a hose and continues to work. NeverWet might not be recommended for electronics, but it actually did a great job with these worst-case scenarios.

So, why wouldn't you want to use NeverWet on your gadgets? First off, and mainly, NeverWet leaves a tacky, chalky film on whatever it coats, which is actually a little bit gross. It doesn't appear in Rustoleum's demo videos, but it's quite apparent when you use the product. Part of the film will wash off the first time water hits it, but some always remains. This helps with spills, but who knows what it's doing to your gadgets (or to you). Secondly, NeverWet degrades over time, so your device might be fine for a few minutes or a few hours, but eventually the coating will fail and your toy is going to be wrecked.

These details are notable, but not enough to prevent NeverWet from being the best water-resistant coating for electronic devices that I can think of, short of a waterproof case.

Now read: MIT creates superhydrophobic coating for condiment containers

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