Tags: laser | water repellent | metal

Laser Water-Repellent Metal Much More Slippery Than Teflon

By    |   Wednesday, 21 Jan 2015 07:25 AM

A new laser treatment has created water-repellent metals with surfaces significantly more slippery than Teflon. Potential applications of the new hydrophobic technology include de-icing, sanitation, and better solar absorption for energy collection.

Developed by scientists Chunlei Guo and Anatoliy Vorobyev at the University of Rochester, the laser treatment works on a variety of metals including aluminum, stainless steel, brass, titanium, and platinum, and takes roughly an hour to complete. In addition to a university blog post, Guo and Vorobyev detailed their process and findings in an article published Tuesday in the Journal of Applied Physics.

Unlike traditional non-stick materials, the laser treatment is not chemical-based. It works by building and shaping nano-structures on a metal's surface. Because it's part of the metal, and not just a coating, the non-stick property is basically permanent, and won't degrade much over time.

Financial support for the development of the technology came from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation as well as the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

The Gates foundation is specifically interested in the technology's ability to help developing nations where water is scarce. Superhydrophobic materials could not only help with the efficient collection of rainwater, for instance, but could also be used to build surfaces that are easier to maintain in sanitary terms.

For the Air Force, superhydrophobic metals could be used to protect planes against the accumulation of ice, as well as make for more weather-proof infrastructure.

"Some potential applications for anti-icing surfaces include protection of aerofoils, power transmission lines, pipes of air conditioners and refrigerators, and radar or telecommunication antennas," write Guo and Vorobyev in their research paper.



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A new laser treatment has created water-repellent metals with surfaces significantly more slippery than Teflon. Potential applications of the new hydrophobic technology include de-icing, sanitation, and better solar absorption for energy collection.
laser, water repellent, metal
275
2015-25-21
Wednesday, 21 Jan 2015 07:25 AM
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