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Nanotechnology Seeking a Way into Our Bathrooms

Prague, 19 February 2007 – Nanotechnology, the field of science seeking to create and use technologies measuring in the nanometers (which is comparable to one one-thousandth of the thickness of a human hair), is finding ever greater applications in the production of sanitary ware fixtures such as basins, bathtubs, toilets and other bathroom fixtures. Man at the beginning of the twenty-first century is proving to be obsessed with hygiene and cleanliness on one hand, but on the other doesn’t have the time, and often not even the will, to keep it up. Which is why he continues to seek materials that make cleaning and maintaining hygienic fixtures easier, while meeting increasingly stringent hygienic demands and norms. Two examples of companies taking that approach are Laufen, which has introduced a new type of surface coating, Wondergliss®, and the Spanish company Roca, with its MaxiClean® treatment. Both surfaces share one thing—after the initial glazing and firing, the ceramic fixture is coated with a special substance that does not change the structure of the surface of the bathtub, basin and other sanitary ware, but rather coats it evenly. That forms a water resistant, or hydrophobic, layer that shapes drops of water into little balls that roll right off the surface without sticking to it. The surface treatment thereby prevents calcium deposits, salt and undesired impurities from sticking, and thus makes clean-up easier. And this process is enabled by nanoparticles, which give the product’s surface strength and resistance, and, at the same time, keep water and dirt from sticking.

“Today people have less time, and if they do have any extra time, they want to spend it with their families and on their hobbies, not keeping up on hygiene and cleanliness. At the same time they, paradoxically, cling very hard to both,” adds Alena Machátová, Product Manager, Laufen CZ. “And new technology can bring us twice the benefits very quickly—in the form of saving us time and reducing our water consumption beyond compare, which is a justified environmental requirement in today’s world,” adds Alena Machátová.

Roca, represented on the Czech market under the brands Jika, Laufen and Roca, is the world’s largest manufacturer of sanitary ware fixtures in the world. In the Czech Republic the company is represented by factories in Bechyně and Znojmo. Its portfolio includes sanitary-ware fixtures, bathroom furniture, bathtubs, shower corners, water taps, and hydromassage units. Over the years, Roca and its products have become benchmarks for bathroom design owing to the quality of manufacturing, modern products and, last but not least, customer care.

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