Water repellent technology has advanced a lot since it was first introduced. Durable water repellent is a coating which is received by the products to make them water resistant and is made from nano structures. These nano structures are the result of the advancement in the modern chemicals and thus offer far more protection than any other thing. Here are some of the facts which makes explains how this new water repellent technology uses the concept of nano technology to help your car remain cleaner:
The Lotus Effect
The nano structures are byproducts of nanotechnology which are used to give protection to your car’s windows, windshields, rims and to the whole body. The main function of the hydrophobic coating is to act as water repellent agent making your car waterproof and increase the car’s auto wash cycles. The mechanism from which it was inspired is itself found in nature and therefore called as “Lotus effect”. This is named after lotus leaf which has self cleaning properties and insects such as butterflies and dragonflies also exhibit such properties.
The scientific explanation of this whole phenomenon can be explained via a term called hydrophobicity. It can be explained as any surface which lacks affinity for water which means that the lesser the water droplet’s contact is with the area, the greater the hydrophobicity of that area is. Contact angle is the main factor in determining the hydrophobicity. The lesser the contact angle is, the lower would be its hyrdophobicity. The surfaces having contact angle lesser than 90 degrees are called as hydrophilic and more than 90 degrees is called as hydrophobic. It might be of interest to know that in case of lotus leaves, the contact angle is more than 170 degrees and this is why these surfaces are called as superhydrophobic coating.
The same concept has been applied in the field of automotive industry where the nano structured paint is applied on the car which has just received the paintwork which is not much resistant to bird droppings, UV rays and chemical effects which can easily ruin the paintwork of the car. The nano paint technology reduces the risk of swirl markings and many other damages which can reduce the effectiveness of the original paintwork. The nanoprotech technology replicates the lotus effect which is found in nature and creates a super hydrophobic surface which repels the water and other pollutants very easily. The self cleaning properties which are created as the result of the application help in cleaning the dirt, water and other contaminations. This water repellent technology can be used on the various parts of the car according to the need of the customer.
Inspired by Nature
Another inspiration of making a water repellant surface also came from nature and this time, it was from penguins. It is a well known fact that despite being birds, penguins don’t get wet at all. Researcher took a sample of penguins’ feather, examined it under electron microscope and discovered something very interesting. They found that he feathers had two characteristics: anti-adhesion and hydrophobicity. Both of these characteristics have enabled penguins to remain dry and prevent them from getting cold. The researchers then applied the same concept and prepared a hydrophobic material which was not the exact replica of what they observed in penguin’s feathers but it was far better than any hydrophobic material ever made. It is still being developed and automotive industry will benefit from it immensely when it will be available commercially.
Another breakthrough in water repellant technology in textile was achieved by Swiss researchers when they developed a fabric made from polyester fibers which consist of millions of minute silicon filaments which is considered as the most water repellent material ever. This means that this fabric will never get wet and slight shudder would drop the water like marbles.