Focus: GS-III Science and Technology
Why in news?
- Fascinated by the beauty of water rolling off a lotus leaf, a team of chemical engineers has now created a similar superhydrophobic coating that can be used to save steel from rusting.
- The team from the Indian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines), Dhanbad, and Ohio State University used polyurethane and silicon dioxide nanoparticles to create the coating which can be easily spin-coated on steel.
- A hydrophobic coating is a thin surface layer that repels water.
- It is made from hydrophobic (ultrahydrophobicity) materials.
- Droplets hitting this kind of coating can fully rebound.
- Generally speaking, superhydrophobic coatings are made from composite materials where one component provides the roughness and the other provides low surface energy.
- Superhydrophobic coatings rely on a delicate micro or nano structure for their repellence—this structure is easily damaged by abrasion or cleaning; therefore, the coatings are most used on things such as electronic components, which are not prone to wear.
- Objects subject to constant friction like boats hulls would require constant re-application of such a coating to maintain a high degree of performance.