Super-Slippery Coating Inspired by Carnivorous Plant
An ultraslippery coating that repels oil and water even on vertical surfaces is created with a glass honeycomb-like structure with craters (left). This is coated with a Teflon-like chemical (purple) that binds to the honeycomb cells to form a stable liquid film. The film repels droplets of both water and oily liquids (right). Because it's a liquid, it flows, which helps the coating repair itself when damaged. (Source: Nicolas Vogel, Wyss Institute)
I like to read articles where we as humans take God's technology and try to improve or use it in a new way. There are so many cool things that are out in nature right now and to advance or use them in a new way is very exciting.
I woudl think the auto or possibly trucking industry would be inerested if it reduces drag and increases mpg. The trucking idustry will go nuts for a lb or two reduction in vehicle weight because of the potential cost savings.
VERY interesting post Ann. Several years ago I had a consulting job involved with mounting solar collectors used in a small "solar farm". It involved the base structures and motorized mechanisms to move the collectors across the horizon as the sun traveled east to west. On HUGE factor we somewhat overlooked was keeping the collector plates clean. It's amazing how much efficiency is lost due to dirty glazers. The material you describe in your post would be very effective keeping clean surfaces. I'm going to send your post to the gentleman I worked with just to keep him informed as to what might be one possible solution to the problem.
At this point, the primary difference I see in the product descriptions is the Rustoleum product doesn't claim complete transparency; several reviews comment on the "milky sheen" it imparts to the coated surface.
Ratsky, this material isn't even commercialized yet so it's definitely not being sold at Home Depot. There have been several similar R&D announcements in the last year or so of such slippery surface/coating technology. I'd guess the Home Depot stuff is the result of one of those.
Is this the same stuff that Home Depot has been advertising recently, from Rustoleum? Too many similarities to be a coincidence. This ad just started running a few days ago. HD website has many reviews, largely mixed.
To give engineers a better idea of the range of resins and polymers available as alternatives to other materials, this Technology Roundup presents several articles on engineering plastics that can do the job.
The first photos made with a 3D-printed telescope are here and they're not as fuzzy as you might expect. A team from the University of Sheffield beat NASA to the goal. The photos of the Moon were made with a reflecting telescope that cost the research team £100 to make (about $161 US).
A tiny humanoid robot has safely piloted a small plane all the way from cold start to takeoff, landing and coming to a full stop on the plane's designated runway. Yes, it happened in a pilot training simulation -- but the research team isn't far away from doing it in the real world.
Some in the US have welcomed 3D printing for boosting local economies and bringing some offshored manufacturing back onshore. Meanwhile, China is wielding its power of numbers, and its very different relationships between government, education, and industry, to kickstart a homegrown industry.
You can find out practically everything you need to know about engineering plastics as alternatives to other materials at the 2014 IAPD Plastics Expo. Admission is free for engineers, designers, specifiers, and OEMs, as well as students and faculty.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.