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Materials & Assembly

Water Bugs Inspire Oil-Repellent Coating

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Beth Stackpole
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Bugs are quite the inspiration
Beth Stackpole   7/31/2012 8:18:10 AM
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This is very cool and could have some real potential helping with clean ups from oil spills as you mention. How close are they to commercializing and I'm somewhat confused: Is this the beginnings of a robotic device or a coating? Either way, I bet they'll be some real interest.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Bugs are quite the inspiration
Ann R. Thryft   7/31/2012 12:45:01 PM
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Beth, I think the answer is "yes." While the main application is the coating, the water bug-like "oil strider" might also have other applications.

notarboca
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Multiple Applications
notarboca   7/31/2012 10:03:22 AM
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Lots of usage for this discovery, oil clean ups, polluted waterways, etc.  I am most interested in the application on the hulls of ships.  An unfouled hull generates cost savings over one that sports marine growth; overall maintenance is less as well.

Beth Stackpole
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Re: Multiple Applications
Beth Stackpole   8/1/2012 7:31:01 AM
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@notarboca: That's a great application. Anything that can prevent the growth of marine life on the hull not only can help reduce maintenance costs, but also can aid in fuel reduction and maintaining overall performance since that is typically a source of on-going problems.

bob from maine
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Yes, but. . .
bob from maine   7/31/2012 10:16:07 AM
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Interesting possibilities. I am somewhat confused by the photo's and description though. Doesn't oil usually float on top of water?

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Yes, but. . .
Ann R. Thryft   7/31/2012 12:45:51 PM
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bob from maine, in spills of petroleum-type oil, that oil does not always float but becomes suspended under water. A prime example is the massive 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico spill.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Yes, but. . .
Rob Spiegel   7/31/2012 1:28:27 PM
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Yes, Ann. It's my understanding that most of the oil in the BP spill ended up at the bottom of the Gulf. This is cool technology, but not necessarily applicable to the BP spill.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Yes, but. . .
Ann R. Thryft   7/31/2012 1:31:10 PM
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Rob, the researchers say this technology is aimed at cleaning up oil spills, among other possible uses.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Yes, but. . .
Rob Spiegel   7/31/2012 3:08:09 PM
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It's good to see technology aimed at cleaning up oil spills. It's also good to see more technology developed from the natural world of bugs.

Mydesign
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Re: Yes, but. . .
Mydesign   8/2/2012 1:08:39 AM
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Robs, I think this will help to remove the oil spills in sea, in case of tanker or oil pipe get leaks, which can affect the life of many living parasites in water. We had seen last couple of years many birds, fishes etc lost their lives due to oil spill in Middle East countries.

Mydesign
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Oil-Repellent
Mydesign   8/2/2012 1:13:03 AM
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Ann, research in similar direction is good atleast we can save the life of creatures in sea, in case of oil spills. I think the proto type may work fine with a cup or tub of water having oil spills but how much it's effective in oceans and sea with large quantity of oil spilled over it. Some more innovations has to happen with real time scenarios.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Oil-Repellent
Ann R. Thryft   8/2/2012 12:09:18 PM
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Mydesign, the researchers say that larger devices can also be built, as we report at the end of the article. How large a body of water the current devices can operate in is not clear, nor is it clear how large the water skimming device needs to be. But it doesn't have to be a single device: in fact, it probably makes more sense to deploy multiple devices, considering how widespread oil spills can be.

wbswenberg
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Re: Oil-Repellent
wbswenberg   8/7/2012 2:50:05 PM
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New meaning to dry fly.

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