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Engineers bounce water off superhydrophobic surfaces

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Published on May 21, 2014

BYU mechanical engineering professors Julie Crockett and Dan Maynes study superhydrophobic surfaces, or surfaces that are extremely difficult to get wet. In layman's terms, it's the most extreme form of water proof. In their lab they're analyzing how water beads up or bounces off the superhydrophobic surfaces they are creating by etching microscopic ridges or posts onto CD-sized wafers.

Engineers like Crockett and Maynes have spent decades studying superhydrophobic surfaces because of the plethora of real-life applications. And while some of this research has resulted in commercial products that keep shoes dry or prevent oil from building up on bolts, the duo of BYU professors are uncovering characteristics aimed at large-scale solutions for society.

Their recent study on the subject, published in academic journal Physics of Fluids, finds surfaces with a pattern of microscopic ridges or posts, combined with a hydrophobic coating, produces an even higher level of water resistance--depending on how the water hits the surface.

Video produced by BYU NEWS
Producer: Julie Walker
Photographer: Brian Wilcox
Editors: Michael Gordon, Samuel Reimer

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