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Copper Coating Technology Mimics Nature’s “Lotus Effect”

Posted on: 05/08/2014
The lotus produces beautiful flowers and shiny green leaves even while it grows in muddy swamps, thanks to its water repelling characteristics that help keep it clean and viable in a dirty environment.

Virginia Tech engineers have recently developed a type of coating for materials that emulates the so-called “Lotus Effect.” has little to no affinity for water emulates the Lotus effect. Using a two-step technique, they have produced a low-cost and simple approach for coating metallic surfaces with an enduring superhydrophobic film of copper. Copper allows for high heat and electrical conductivity, and is the material of choice in many engineering applications such as heat exchangers and electronic circuit boards. The researchers note that their process differs from existing ones in that it is used to directly make superhydrophobic copper coatings without the more costly need for an additional layer of a low surface energy material.

The new coating technology can potentially minimize or eliminate dirt and grime accumulation in heat exchangers, reduce pressure drop in flow through tubes, provide improved corrosion resistance, and mitigate creep failure in electronic printed circuit board applications.

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