Cool video, right? You might be asking just what am I watching and what in the world could be done with such an application? Well, a lot.
The video is an illustration of GE’s efforts to develop superhydrophobic nano coatings and surfaces, which draws inspiration from nature and the “Lotus Effect.” We can learn a lot from Mother Nature. The leaves on lotus plants have a unique nanotextured wax on the surface that can repel water. Even more interesting, it is self-cleaning. When water hits a leaf, it washes away any dust or particles on its surface. For a lotus plant, these features help it survive by preventing the accumulation of dirt and other contaminants on its leaves. For GE, we think we can leverage these properties to create new and better performing GE products.
For example, coating certain parts of a gas turbine to reduce fouling can help them run even cleaner and more efficiently. Other potential applications are a better way to deal with ice on airplanes or reduce ice buildup on a wind turbine blade. Reducing ice on wind blades could help boost efficiency here as well.
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