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MIT creates material that repels liquids efficiently and can help aviation

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( MIT ) has developed a material capable of repelling liquids more efficiently than most common surfaces. The survey began 6 years ago.

At that time, scientists came to the conclusion that tiny ridges on a surface, almost imperceptible to our eyes, could help to fragment the shape and symmetry of a drop of water as it recoils from an impact. This increases the rate at which the liquid moves away from the surface and reduces the contact time between the two by about 40%.

The discovery is especially useful in cases where liquids often collide with large structures, such as rain and airplane wings or wind turbine propellers. With the action of the wind, these surfaces tend to get very cold. When the raindrops come in contact with them, they cool and freeze quickly. And the ice accumulated in the wings of an airplane can pose a serious risk to its stability.

How MIT perfected the

We know that when water hits a surface, it spreads out as far as possible before it retracts. Therefore, the researchers had the idea of ​​using slightly concave grooves. In this way, the drops tend to spread only to the edges of the grooves before being repelled. The concave shape of the grooves causes this retraction time of the drop of water to be further minimized.

It is clear that the efficiency of this structure will depend on the size of the water droplets to which it is subjected. But in general, it works better than a surface without the grooves.

Finally, the invention may prove to be useful not only to reduce ice buildup in airplanes or wind turbine propellers, but also in the coating of impermeable materials.

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