The scientists have developed an extraordinary method that can make metal so resistant to water that the water droplets falling on any such metal sheet simply bounce off just like tiny basketballs.
The technique was developed by the physicists at the University of Rochester.
But how did the researchers at the University of Rochester create this apparently magical material? The scientists explain they incorporated a powerful laser in order to etch minute micro- and nanoscale patterns onto different metals like titanium, brass and platinum.
According to the scientists, the unique process takes a while or up to an hour to treat with a single square inch of metal.
While describing the research work in a video, Dr. Chunlei Guo, a professor at the Institute of Optics in the university, said, “Our surface has many advantages over the coatings out there. First, our surface has a much stronger hydrophobic effect than the coatings, and secondly, we don’t have to worry about coatings peeling off and the surface degrading over time.”
The researchers believe the technique may possess key advantages over many chemical coatings, such as Teflon, which can wear away. But before the researchers went on commercializing the incredible process, they are planning to try the laser patterning technique on the non-metallic materials in order to find out ways to accelerate the etching process.
Apart from offering a weird sight, the first-of-its kind invention may hold greater significance and applications, ranging from building better and sustainable devices for the collection of rainwater in the developing countries that struggles hard due to water-scarcity, improving the hygiene and sanitation facilities, solar panels that are resistant to iron rusting or icing over and building wings of airplanes
The findings of the study were published online in the Journal of Applied Physics on January 20.