BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Think nothing more about the frost settling in on your car’s windshield because a team of scientists from Virginia Tech found a solution. The team managed to develop a frost-repelling technique inspired desert beetles.
Having trouble getting rid of the ice from your car’s windshield? Well, you should be pleased to know that thanks to the efforts of a team from Virginia Tech, we won’t have to worry about this issue any longer.
The team in question has found a method to produce chemical patterns, which act out like ice repellents. To fashion these surfaces, the team used a technique called photolithography. To put it into layman terms, scientists are able to device ice-free surfaces by transferring geometric forms to a wafer made out of silicone. Using this wafer, the scientists can devise patterns consisting of chemicals. The patterns ensure that frost resulting from condensation will not form on the surface.
The new technology has any number of applications, but it seems highly probable that carmakers will be among the first to take advantage of this new technology. Imagine how it would feel like to not spend hours in front of your car, thawing out the windshield. Also, constructors can integrate this new technology into airplanes and into condenser coils.
So, what prompted the discovery of this frost-repelling technique? According to the team’s statement, the technology has been inspired by hot-headed critter called a desert beetle. Living under the hot sun of the desert, the beetle has evolved different techniques for storing and consuming water.
The frost-repelling technique inspired by the desert beetle will have multiple applications in all field of study. Scientists working on the project took a great interest in the beetle’s capacity to manage water in dry environments.
According to their observations, the beetle uses its hard shell in order to collect moisture from the atmosphere. The beetle’s shell has many protuberances, tip-like formation, which enable the desert critter to collect water in the form of drops. Moreover, the scientists also observed that the beetle’s shell has a slight inclination. The desert beetle takes advantage of the shell’s shape in order to consume water.
The liquid, collected using the shell’s tips, slips off the side of the shell and move toward’s the insect mouth. Using the beetle’s shell as a starting point, the team from Virginia Tech managed to devise a one-centimeter surface, which basically has the same functionality as the beetle’s carapace.
Furthermore, the team that developed the frost-repellant surface technique inspired by desert beetles thinks that the combs can be enlarged in order to cover more surface.