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.
A new compression molding compound material combines the light weight, strength, and rigidity of carbon fibers with the flexibility and lower cost of glass materials in a composite compatible with automotive production.
Plastic bearings are real and millions of them are in use doing heavy-duty jobs we used to think only metals could do. Some of Germany-based igus's bearings are traveling around the world as functional parts in a car to demonstrate what they can do.
Baxter showed off his 2.0-derived moves at ATX West this year. The big red guy still looks pretty much the same, but has some new abilities, mostly due to software. The research robot version is now being used in corporate R&D departments as a design platform.
End-production using 3D printing, including objects made of multiple materials in one pass, is getting closer to reality as we saw on the exhibit floor at the recent Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show.