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The most waterproof surface in the world has as inspiration the wings of a butterfly

A team of engineers managed to create such a waterproof surface, which is believed to fend off the water more than any other in the world. And this, without having to modify any other hydrophobic surface, but taking inspiration from a butterfly. The most hydrophobic surface in the world is covered with small ribs from silicon ( 0.1 millimetre of height), which was used by the researchers, by leading the water to be removed 40% more quickly than any other hydrophobic material. The pattern of the small ribs of silicon is an inspiration from something similar that the researchers observed in nature, the wings of the Morpho butterfly but also the leaves of nasturtium.

butterfly-wing

In the past, other hydrophobic materials have been based on the leaves of lotus, which repels water with its tiny structures. Imitating the wings of the butterfly, the researchers went, however, in the opposite direction, with the increase in the surface area which comes in contact with the water. The researchers have also pointed out something interesting in this implementation, that at very low temperatures, the droplets of water are able to bounce much more quickly than they could freeze. This makes the waterproof surface very interesting for use in aircraft wings and turbines. It could, however, have much more use, such as, for example, in resistant clothing.

The researchers believe their implementation has room for more improvement and the fact that it helps water to leave a surface 40% faster than with any other solution is just the beginning, because they believe that the percentage may rise soon up to 70-80%. And once again, it demonstrates that the inspiration we can take from nature is insuperable and infinite.

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