Monday, 2 July 2012

Experiments with superhydrophobia

I've been looking at superhydrophobic coatings to see if they might be a way to prevent the "wet glass" style of sticking seen in from-the-bottom DLP based 3D printers. This is a very simple way to make such a surface:

All I did was sand a block of Teflon/PFTE with some 240 grit wet and dry sand paper. This creates the required peaks on the surface that allow the already hydrophobic PTFE to become superhydrophobic. I tried this some weeks ago very briefly but it did not seem to work. Turns out that the surface is quite delicate, touching with the fingers "bruises" the surface and it looses the effect, or perhaps it is the oils from the skin.

Another cool trick was to drop the block into water, the upper surface gains a sheen due to air being trapped in the valleys of the surface structure. The water can't enter so the air is trapped.

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