New hydrophobic nanocoating stays dry under water for months

By studying the natural nanostructures of water striders, some spiders and lotus leaves, scientists have learned how to create hydrophobic surfaces that can be used to create, for example, pipes, ships or submarines of the next generation.

Researchers at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois have developed an optimal rough structure that can keep the surface dry for several months.

The clue came from nature itself in the form of a water strider, a water beetle and a spider shell, which constantly come into contact with water, remain dry. The secret is in tiny hairs that prevent water from coming into contact with the surface.

The hairs form a kind of "prickly" tops, separated by a space, which, when immersed, is filled with an air bubble that acts as a barrier between the surface and water.

The researchers studied various materials with rough surfaces and tested them in water, from which dissolved gases were removed. The results showed that the surfaces remained dry for four months while the experiment lasted.

In practice, all this can be used to create stealth coatings for submarines or coatings for the underwater part of ships, which cannot be accommodated by marine organisms that create unnecessary drag during movement, as well as for the inner coating of pipelines.