Frustration sparks invention to keep wipers from freezing to windshield

March 29, 2013
Pegs lift wiper blades to keep them from freezing to car windshield. Below, a close-up.

(Phys.org) —Daniel Perlman is a senior research scientist whose work has resulted in about 100 published patents and pending patents in the field of applied research. His current work focuses on nutritionally enhanced processed food products and clinical and laboratory specialty research products crossing the fields of chemistry, physics and biochemistry.

His most recent pending patent, however, is much simpler. Inspiration came from his frustration with a phenomenon that New Englanders can understand – automobile windshield wipers that freeze to the windshield.

"You see some people flip their wipers up when snow is forecast," he said during a recent demonstration of his newest , "but that can be an invitation to vandals if you park on the street."

Instead, he has developed an unobtrusive solution – a spring-loaded peg that automatically retracts when the wipers are turned on. The peg raises the wipers one to two inches off of the windshield's surface, just enough to avoid freezing to the glass.

The peg doesn't affect the operation of the wipers at all. Exiting the car, the driver manually flips them down against the windshield when snow or ice is forecast, but just a flip of the car's wiper switch resets the wiper blades to their intended position against the windshield.

The Brandeis researcher hopes to find a company to license and commercialize the technology.

"I know that I'm not the only person out there who is frustrated by this aspect of New England winters," Perlman says, "but I'm the person who is always looking for a new and better way to fix it."

Explore further: Augmented reality windshield from GM to show drivers potential hazards (w/ Video)

More information: www.brandeis.edu/departments/physics/people/researchscientists/perlman.html

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