GE Looks At Lotus Leaves To Make Water Bounce

GE has begun to test an experimental superhydrophobic coating for their new wind turbine blades, inspired by the way water naturally balls up on certain types of leaves.

As we have mentioned there is a fascinating design methodology behind biomimicry. In short, biomimicry involves studying nature’s structural and environmental designs to learn and apply similar practices toward human-centered challenges.

Recently, GE has begun to test an experimental superhydrophobic coating for their new wind turbine blades, inspired by the way water naturally balls up on certain types of leaves.

Much like the lotus leaf, the structure of the superhydrophoic coating is resistant to water, as the material tension remains disrupted when wet, beading up rather than splatting.

In nature, this reaction helps to improve the photosynthesis process, as it allows for dirt to be washed off by collecting water on plant leaves. For GE’s wind turbine, the idea is the same in preventing ice formations: if the rotating blade can reject water, there is minimal opportunity for freezing, thus improving the speedy rotation of a turbine in motion.

GE Global Research Facility

[via Treehugger]

photo via fotoherbie

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