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See(ing)-Through is Believing

See(ing)-Through is Believing

An automotive glass-treatment technology could soon benefit boat owners, too.

By Capt. Patrick Sciacca — April 2004

   

Photos: Matt Helminski
 More of this Feature

• Part 1: Diamon-FusionUSA
• Part 2: Diamon-FusionUSA
• Treated vs. Untreated Glass
• Diamon-Fusion Technology


 Related Resources
• Maintenance Index

 Elsewhere on the Web
• Royce Industries

The claim: Long Island, New York-based Diamon-FusionUSA’s patented glass-treatment technology, which has its origins in the automotive industry, will significantly improve visibility through any boat’s glass window. It will also protect the glass from acid rain, salt-related corrosion, and UV rays; force water to bead up in large droplets and fall from the surface under any conditions; reduce mildew buildup; and increase the lifespan of the glass.

So how the heck does this reportedly “breakthrough” stuff work? That’s the question I asked Diamon-FusionUSA national sales manager Lee Sparaco when he called me to tell me about it. In a nutshell, Sparaco explained that the Diamon-Fusion system operates on the premise that glass is not smooth but rather made up of microscopic peaks and valleys. While some glass-treatment products temporarily coat the surface, protecting the glass from the elements, they wear away over time, leaving those peaks and valleys exposed. The resulting crevices enable water to once again stick and streak and particles to attach and scratch the glass. Diamon-Fusion, however, reportedly not only fills in the crevices but actually becomes part of the glass and, if regularly cleaned and maintained, should last for several years.

According to the company, the “chemical vapor deposition process” starts with a thorough cleaning of a new pane of glass (older glass reportedly doesn’t take to the treatment as well, as it’s contaminated by the environment). Next, a liquid catalyst is put on the glass surface, which is immediately treated with a proprietary machine that uses nitrogen gas to turn the liquid into a vapor. The machine, which resembles a see-through steam iron, is passed over the glass (only trained and certified Diamon-Fusion professionals can do the application), and the vapor seeps into and fills in the cracks, chemically bonding with the glass. This bond is also said to enhance the strength-to-weight ratio of the glass by as much as ten times its normal capacity.

It sounded good, but I was still skeptical, so Sparaco and Diamon-FusionUSA president Ray Doran stopped by the PMY office with a brand-spankin’-new pane of glass and showed me the chemical-bonding process step by step. The process took about ten minutes (only half the pane was treated), and the duo then proceeded to pour water over the bonded and nonbonded sides of the glass. The difference was, in a word, amazing. The bonded side beaded up, repelled water without streaks, and dried instantly. If I hadn’t seen the results for myself, I would’ve had a tough time buying what these guys were selling.

Next page > Part 2: The water streamed off like a sprinter doing the 100-meter. > Page 1, 2, 3, 4

This article originally appeared in the March 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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