If you’ve ever been caught in the rain without an umbrella, you know the feeling of walking home in wet clothing. Ultra-Ever Dry is a superhydrophobic spray coating, waterproofing, that will keep just about anything dry.
While not designed specifically to keep clothing dry, the coating can be applied to a variety of surfaces.
Superhydrophobic coatings hold a wide array of potential consumer and industrial applications. However, most aren’t overly durable, meaning their water repelling properties can be easily lost.
Now scientists at the Australian National University (ANU) have developed a new spray-on superhydrophobic coating that is much more robust than existing solutions and low-cost to manufacture and apply.
Hydrophobic materials generally get their water-repelling properties from rough surfaces made up of tiny pillars, which trap a layer of air between them that prevents the liquid from getting a good grip on the surface of the object.
William Wong and Antonio Tricoli, two of the ANU researchers, said that the problem is that these complex surfaces are vulnerable to damage, which can reduce the long-term effectiveness of the material.
“Superhydrophobic materials are typically very fragile due to the need for delicate preservation of surface morphologies,” the researchers told New Atlas.
“Fluoro-functionalized nanostructured silica (F-SiO2), for example, is a highly performing superhydrophobic material, however, its commercial application remains largely impeded by poor mechanical durability resulting in the rapid loss of superhydrophobicity upon abrasion damages.”