Hairy” superhydrophobic surfaces

A new study presents novel superhydrophobic surfaces with excellent mechanical robustness, underwater stability and drag-reduction property.

A seal swimming.
Inspired by the fine hairs and cilia of creature Image source: moinzon - Pixabay (symbol image).

Since superhydrophobic surfaces show extremely low friction with water, they have been tried for drag-reduction purpose for ships or pipe systems for liquid transportation in recent years. However, the superhydrophobic surfaces combining comprehensive performance, feasible fabrication method as well as low manufacturing cost are still big issues, limiting their real applications. Inspired by the fine hairs and cilia of creature, researchers have prepared “hairy” surfaces by electrostatic flocking and subsequent surface modification.

Good drag-reduction efficiency

The optimal “hairy” surfaces exhibit excellent superhydrophobicity, satisfactory abrasion resistance, long-term underwater stability with/without additional air pressure and good drag-reduction efficiency at low shearing rates. According to the reseaerchers, their work may shed new light on design and preparation of mechanical robust, underwater stable and drag-reduction surfaces that can be easily manufactured in large scale.

The study has been published in Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 174, January 2023.

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