The windshield in your next car could have a new ice-repelling system that prevents ice from ever forming. No more scraping and no more defrosting; that's the vision of the not-so-distant future from Torvec, Inc. "I live in Rochester, New York, very close to Buffalo and with the same infamous winters," said Keith Gleasman, president of Torvec. "I can't begin to count how many freezing mornings I've stood outside scraping ice from my windshield. When I heard that an ice physicist from Dartmouth College had discovered the secret to breaking ice's grip without heat, I jumped at the chance to add it to cars." Ice sticks to things by forming an unbreakable but barely perceptible electric bond. Reverse the electric charge and ice won't stick. Dartmouth College has licensed this breakthrough discovery to BF Goodrich for airplane and marine applications, such as de-icing airplane wings, and to Torvec for land-based transportation such as cars, trucks and railway boxcars. Torvec is rushing to market with an invisible windshield polymer that will repel winter ice from the glass surface. The polymer conducts a low voltage current, comparable to that used to run cars'clocks. The windshield will repel ice without heat, without defrosting and without chipping or scraping. Windshields are manufactured by sandwiching "tinting glaze" between two layers of tempered glass. Torvec's anti-icing polymer will be part of the micro-thin filling, invisible to the naked eye. "Every year 11 million windshields are replaced, and I'd bet a few million of those were cracked from drivers chipping at ice, pouring hot water on windshields, or getting hit from ice flying off a truck. Torvec's ice-repelling system will be made for replacement windshields and new automobiles, will save time and money, and improve transportation safety," Gleasman said. Ice physicist Dr. Victor Petrenko at Dartmouth College discovered the physical underpinnings of this technology. The surface of a piece of ice has an unusual electrical charge; molecules tend to line up in the same direction. Either the protons are facing out, giving the ice surface a positive charge, or the protons face inward, buried in the ice, giving the surface a negative charge. When ice touches another surface, like a tongue or a windshield, it causes an opposite charge in the other surface. Because oppositely charged molecules attract, the two surfaces stick together. This accounts for most of the adhesion of ice to another surface. Conversely, breaking the bond between ice and another surface is a simple as neutralizing the surface through a positive or negative charge. Dartmouth has a policy of licensing its technology to one large company and one entrepreneurial smaller company, and because of this policy Torvec was able to successfully secure its license. About Torvec, Inc. Torvec, Inc., based in Rochester, N.Y., is a developer of advanced automotive technologies including the FTV(TM) tracked vehicle and the Infinitely Variable Transmission, constant velocity joint with spherical gearing, lightweight hydraulic pump and motor assembly, and de-icing and ice traction technology. For more information visit or contact Jim Gleasman of Torvec at 716-248-8549.