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How to make water bounce from Edison’s desk. Using a high-speed camera setup in the lab, GE scientists captured details of water droplets dancing on amazing superhydrophobic surfaces developed in GE Global Research’s Nanotechnology lab. Tao writes -

Hello everyone, I have some exciting videos that I want to share with you! Using a high-speed camera setup in the lab, we can finally capture the details of the water dancing on these amazing superhydrophobic surfaces. We discovered that even when the surfaces had the same contact angle for stationary water droplets, their ability to resist the wetting of impacting droplets could be totally different. In the following three videos, the contact angles of a stationary droplet on all three surfaces are ~150 degree. When an impacting droplet (with the same impact speed) hits on the surfaces, the droplet can either stay on the surface.

Look at the way the water droplet spreads, recoils, breaks into satellite droplets, and completely lifts off… that’s what we really want for an impacting-droplet resistant surface! You might wonder what we can do with a cool thing like this? Imagine applications that involve high speed water droplets, such as wind turbine blade, airplane wing, or even just your car in motion. These are just a couple of the exciting possibilities that we are looking at.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. JBL says:

    I want a coating of this on my car windshield.

  2. Joshua A.C. Newman says:

    Bike clothes! Bike *tires*!

    Road surfaces!

    Glasses, counter tops, swim suits and scuba gear…

  3. Ryan says:

    One of the most dangerous things that can happen to a helicopter is ice forming on the rotor blades. Well it’s not when the ice forms it is when one blade throws the ice off and the others haven’t then you have a unbalanced really big spinning meat grinder a few feet above your head. No fun! But if you can keep the water droplet intact then you shouldn’t get any ice! No ice for the blades to throw, means safer helicopters rides. But it would be nice to have on the car as well, I wonder if it would keep the car cleaner…