Wednesday, 16 November 2011

How to superhydrophobic surfaces can help you prevent mustard stains.erhydrophobic substances.

Betty White eating a tubesteak without ketchup or mustard.

 I was eating a hot dog in Seattle an hour before I was supposed to meet with a long time friend whom I was visiting.  I bought the meat wrapped in a bun from the vendor, piled some onions, relish, French's mustard ontop before unleashing a fury frenzy of eating that I had not had after living in a civilized place like Helsinki.  People eat a little bit more refined.  I stood on the street corner and started devouring it like a dog that had not eaten in a couple of days.

It was one of those awesome tube steak hotdogs where you crunch down through a harder skin then some juices start flowing out from the soft meat underneath.  The ketchup and mustard started mixing with the juices making an unsightly mix of yellow and red colloids oozing out of it.  I did not really notice these non-newtonian fluids flowing out of the hotdog bun until it was too late.  Red and yellow with some specs of brown hit the white shirt I had just purchased the day before at Nordström Rack.  (I know to clean this a specific detergent may need to be formulated). 

'Shoot.  Non-newtonian fluids with a specific surface tension with a peculiar contact angle embedding on my new cotton on my shirt!'  I yelled out sparking peculiar reactions from the homeless person standing a yard (we are in America after all) away.  Possibly he was a laid off employee from a cleaning conglomerate because his reply was 'You should have used a superhydrophobic substance to spray on top of it.'

'By golly,' I thought to myself,  'He was right'.  It took a little bit of searching to find that a new silicon-based sprayable coating makes clothing completely waterproof.  NeverWet, developed by Ross Nanotechnology & its key scientist Vinod Sikka, allow liquids and heavy oils to slide off clothing, machinery and electronics.  Water has a surface tension of 72 dynes allowing it spread and with its specific charge properties interact with different materials. Upon application, the superhydrophobic silicon-based coating creates a 160 to 175 degree contact angle (even the lotus plant can have a contact angle of 147 degrees so this is never wet is unreal).  This superhydrophobic silicon based coating makes it nearly impervious for liquids to gain a foothold on clothing like my white shirt.

The same company also submerged an iphone in water for an hour without a failure.  It usually fails in about a minute.  The company could make a lot of money from people like me if they get a foothold in this competitive market.  I would buy it because plan on still eating tubesteaks with a lot of mustard and ketchup.