A team of researchers from the University of Michigan has developed a self-healing, water-repellant coating that is hundreds of times more durable than its counterparts.
The researchers believe this development could help enable waterproof vehicles, clothing, rooftops, and other surfaces – something that current hydrophobic coatings struggle with due to their fragility.
“Thousands of superhydrophobic surfaces have been looked at over the past 20 or 30 years, but nobody has been able to figure out how to systematically design one that’s durable,” says Anish Tuteja, co-author of the study. “I think that’s what we’ve really accomplished here, and it’s going to open the door for other researchers to create cheaper, perhaps even better superhydrophobic coatings.”
Professor Chunlei Guo has developed a technique that uses lasers to render materials hydrophobic, illustrated in this image of a water droplet bouncing off a treated sample. Photo: J. Adam Fenster / University of Rochester
New super-hydrophobic metals developed at the University of Rochester could mean big things for solar innovation and sanitation initiatives.
The researchers, led by Professor Chunlei Guo, have developed a technique that uses lasers to render materials extremely water repellant, thus resulting in rust-free metals.
Professor Guo’s research in novel not in the sense that he and his team are creating water resistant materials, instead they are creating a new way to develop these super-hydrophobic materials by taking away reliance on chemical coatings and shifting to laser technology.