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"[Science fiction] is the only kind of writing that allows you to look at the world we live in and change one piece at a time."
- Frederik Pohl

Inert Resin  
  A special coating that eliminates maintenance on marine structures.  

This novel has a number of very well-realized technologies for taking care of problems related to daily wear-and-tear.

[Maintenance] is not a problem, with the modern polymers," Andrei said smoothly. "Inert resins… we paint them on … reduce corrosion almost to nothing…"

Laura could see the thick painted sheen of polymer on the great load-bearing pipes and struts. There were no barnacles at the water line. No seaweed, no slime. Nothing grew on this structure. It was slick as ice.

Technovelgy from Islands in the Net, by Bruce Sterling.
Published by William Morrow in 1988
Additional resources -

What strikes me as interesting is the swing from a squeaky, ultra-clean future to a grimy, grainy future where everything is worn down. This kind of technovelgy will let us move back from worn and grimy back to perfect.

See also smart material, from All Tomorrow's Parties by William Gibson.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Islands in the Net
  More Ideas and Technology by Bruce Sterling
  Tech news articles related to Islands in the Net
  Tech news articles related to works by Bruce Sterling

Inert Resin-related news articles:
  - Escapin: Anti-Bacterial Sea Slug Protein Prevents Biofilm Build-Up

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