Scientists Make Metal So Waterproof That Droplets Simply Bounce Off
Step aside, Teflon. Physicists at the University of Rochester have found a way to make metal so resistant to water that any droplets that fall on it simply bounce off like tiny basketballs.
(Story continues below.)
Apart from being freaky to watch in action, the first-of-its kind material may have important applications–from making better devices for collecting rainwater in water-scarce developing countries, to improving the sanitation of toilets, to making airplane wings and solar panels resistant to rusting or icing over.
How did the scientists create this seemingly magical material? They used a powerful laser to etch minute micro- and nanoscale patterns onto brass, titanium, and platinum.
The process takes a while–up to a full hour to treat a single square inch of metal–but it’s said to have key advantages over chemical coatings like Teflon, which can wear away.
“Our surface has many advantages over the coatings out there,” Dr. Chunlei Guo, a professor at the university’s Institute of Optics, says in a video describing the research (see below). “First, our surface has a much stronger hydrophobic effect than the coatings, and secondly, we don’t have to worry about coatings peeling off and the surface degrading —> Read More Here