US engineers at MIT in Boston have developed a new way of texturing surfaces that they believe could make for the “most waterproof material ever”.
Inspired by ridges found in nature on the wings of the Morpho butterfly and the veins of nasturtium leaves, they added tiny ridges to a silicon surface that made water bounce off it 40% faster than the limit of the previous lotus leaf gold standard.
“We believe these are the most super-hydrophobic surfaces yet,” said Prof Kripa Varanasi, whose work is published in Nature journal.
“For years industry has been copying the lotus. They should start thinking about copying butterflies and nasturtiums.
The new “super-hydrophobic” surface could keep clothes dry and stop aircraft engines icing over, they say. I’m thinking textiles :-)