Aridion, a liquid repellent nanocoating that protects hearing aids against corrosion and warranty failure, will be showcased by P2i, UK, at AudiologyNOW! 2010.

Aridion is applied using a special pulsed ionised gas (plasma), which is created within a vacuum chamber, to attach a nanoscopic polymer layer—1,000 times thinner than a human hair—to the hearing aid. This lowers the product’s surface energy, so that when humidity or sweat comes into contact with it, they form beads and roll off.

"As hearing aids become increasingly miniature, sophisticated, and fragile, they are
also becoming more difficult to protect," says Stephen Coulson, chief technical officer at P2i. "AudiologyNOW! is a great opportunity for us to demonstrate how Aridion transforms standards of protection and reliability by overcoming the limitations of traditional liquid repellency approaches—however intricate the hearing aid design or active the lifestyle of the user. In fact, we are already achieving excellent results with three of the world’s largest hearing aid manufacturers, who have recognized how Aridion improves reliability and decreases the number of repairs required per unit, saving money, time, and frustration for them, dispensers, and end users alike."

P2i will be running real-time demonstrations of the Aridion process on the hour, every hour at booth 2806, at the event, which will be held at the San Diego Convention Center from April 14 to 17. Members of the P2i team will also be on hand to discuss
industry developments and answer questions.

The process helps transform the reliability of hearing aids, which contain delicate, expensive components at high risk of liquid damage—improving battery life, minimizing warranty failure and repair costs, and increasing user confidence, according to the company.

Because it coats every aspect of a finished product at the nanoscopic level, the product protects more thoroughly than alternative approaches where individual product components are treated prior to assembly, the company says, adding that the result is a durable liquid repellent coating that does not affect the product’s look, feel, or delicate acoustic properties.

Aridion can be cost-effectively applied to finished products using compact, high-throughput P2i processing machines, says the company. These integrate with existing assembly lines, and can be operated at the touch of a button. In a typical production environment, one P2i machine can treat a hearing aid in less than 10 seconds, according to the company.

P2i specializes in liquid repellent nanocoating technology. P2i Ltd was established in 2004 to commercialize liquid-repellent treatments developed by the UK’s Ministry of Defense. Now on a commercial scale, its patented process has been applied to a wide range of products in a wide range of markets, including performance textiles, electronic devices, filtration media, and bio-consumables.

[Source: P2i]