Laser Technology Creates Water-Repellent Water

There doesn’t seem to be a week that goes by where someone doesn’t discover a new use for laser technology, and this week is no different.

A group of researchers from the University of Rochester have just figured out how to use lasers to make metals water-repellent.

21036145_SThe process works by using a laser to etch tiny structures into the surface of the water, which repels any water that comes into contact with it away.

But just what is the point of having the ability to make metal water-repellent? Well, there are actually quite a few applications.

Chief among them includes the ability to have metal materials that are self-cleaning.

A metal that can repel water by itself has a much less likely chance of ever corroding; meaning metal machines and structures could last for years, if not decades longer than they would otherwise.

The researchers have spent a fair amount of time studying this new process they’ve invented.

In their research, they’ve discovered that using the laser to etch the surface makes water simply bounce off of the metal. In the event any water lands back on to the surface of the metal, it will just bounce off again and again.

The concept of water-repellent metal isn’t entirely new.  There are chemicals available that can provide the same results, but it only lasts for a limited amount of time.  The researchers are confident that using lasers will make a metal surface resistant to water forever.

What do you think about this new use for laser technology?

Do you see it becoming widespread or never making it to commercial use? Stay tuned for more news!

http://www.theverge.com/2015/1/29/7938003/superhydrophobic-surfaces-created-using-laser-etching