Bottles of Glue May Never Be the Same Again

Elmer's signs contract to use slippery LiquiGlide coating in its containers
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2015 2:43 PM CDT
Bottles of Glue May Never Be the Same Again
In a Sept. 11, 2014, photo, a little boy glues pieces to a wooden airplane.   (AP Photo/Laramie Daily Boomerang, Jeremy Martin)

As much as Heinz wanted us to think part of the thrill of ketchup was waiting for it to glob out of the bottle, most consumers will attest that's not true—for ketchup, toothpaste, or any other viscous substance that takes forever to filter out. Elmer's Products has had an especially tough time with this challenge, since its signature commodity is meant to be, well … binding. But now the glue manufacturer has found its way out of a sticky situation by signing an exclusive contract with LiquiGlide, a company that makes its namesake slippery coating, used to line the inside of containers for optimal flow, Gizmodo reports. The technology uses a lubricant that adheres to the container's textured surface, the New York Times explains; the thick, viscous substance inside glides smoothly off the lubricant instead of being slowed down by the container's surface. (Click to see a demo.)

"We're not defying physics, but effectively, we are," J. David Smith, the LiquiGlide CEO who helped invent the technology while an MIT student, tells the Times. The concept was prompted by the wife of Smith's co-inventor, Kripa K. Varanasi, after she couldn't get honey out of a bottle. The company says a mayo bottle may arrive as soon as this year, and toothpaste tubes may employ the technology by 2017, per the Times; LiquiGlide could also find a home in the industrial forum, perhaps as a coating in pipelines so crude oil could be pushed through more efficiently. And for those wondering what comes out of the bottle with the mayo, the lubricant remains adhered to the container's textured surface, but the company also assures that coatings used for food containers use edible ingredients, though it's somewhat cryptic on that point: "We use things that are, maybe, parts of foods, you'd say," Smith tells the Times. "You wouldn't make a meal out of our coatings." (Click for more on LiquiGlide and another technology that keeps liquids in place.)

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