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Hydrophobic

Unlocking water fern's secrets could pave the way for more efficient ships

Ships are big polluters and one of the key reasons for this is the energy lost due to friction as they move through the water. Numerous innovations in marine paint technology have sought to address this issue and now a group of German material research scientists have unlocked a secret that could radically improve fuel consumption... and it's all down to the marvelous properties of one small plant.  Read More

A new ultra-water-repellent surface mimics the minute hairs found on spider bodies

In recent years the lotus leaf has been the go-to surface for scientists looking to develop high-tech water repelling surfaces. Now engineering researchers have created what they say is a “nearly perfect hydrophobic interface” by borrowing from another of nature’s wonders - spiders. By reproducing the shape and patterns of the minute hairs that grow on the bodies of spiders, the researchers have created what may be the most water-phobic surface yet... a development that could lead to everything from self-cleaning surfaces to faster boats.  Read More

Roads covered in ice can be difficult and dangerous to drive on

Like most things, ice can be a blessing or a burden depending on the circumstances. It’s perfect crushed in a drink on a hot summer’s day, but can wreak havoc when it collects on roads, power lines and aircraft in freezing temperatures. A University of Pittsburgh-led team has found a way to reduce these dangers by developing a nanoparticle-based coating that can be easily applied to impede the buildup of ice on solid surfaces.  Read More

A new polymer coating has been designed to protect historic buildings from graffiti while ...

Graffiti is not only ugly, it costs society millions of dollars to remove it. But graffiti on historic landmarks is worse because it often can't be removed using basic caustic solutions without damage to the underlying surface. Now a new, breathable coating could help preserve some of our most beautiful and priceless links to the past by providing them with an efficient, all-round protection against attacks by taggers.  Read More

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