42 TechnologyNews42 Technology develops aerosol technology breakthrough

42 Technology develops aerosol technology breakthrough

42 Technology is developing a novel low cost aerosol technology that could eliminate the need for hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), butane or other highly inflammable pressurised propellants in personal and household aerosol products.
The technology needs nothing more high-tech than a small spring and piston, or hand-action squeeze pump, and will enable smaller, lighter and easier-to-recycle disposable products. The core approach can also be modified for re-usable products and for a wide range of spray-based applications including: generating water mists for fire extinguishers, nebulisers and for agrochemical spraying. 42 Technology’s patented approach produces a droplet spray by firing a low pressure jet of a water-based product, such as an air-freshener or deodorant, at a disc of carefully selected superhydrophobic material. These novel materials are highly water-repellent and mimic the lotus effect; a naturally-occurring phenomenon where the leaves of the lotus flower and the wings of some insects are so water-repellent that they effectively self-clean. Several leading academic groups, including the University of Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory and MIT in the US are developing new materials for commercial applications, but this is the first time they have been exploited for aerosol production. 42 Technology has researched several materials and techniques to produce finely dispersed droplets with diameters in the range of 20 micron for personal care products. The consultancy is now actively targeting potential partners to further develop and commercialise this novel technology.
Conventional aerosol cans have to be large and strong enough to safely maintain the product and a considerable volume of HFC or pressurised inflammable propellant, making them costly to manufacture and recycle. 42 Technology’s novel approach would enable manufacturers for the first time to produce high performance, propellant-free aerosols but in smaller, low cost packaging. And unlike traditional products, where the performance deteriorates through use, the droplet size would be maintained until the can’s contents were completely emptied — Howard Biddle, managing director of 42 Technology.