Today, researchers and material engineering specialists from the University of Rochester presented their new development in the field of creating new options for materials intended for use in special structures and devices at sea and in the ocean. We are talking about a new type of lightweight metal material with quite pronounced hydrophobic properties, with which it can be kept afloat, regardless of the degree of self-loading or the degree of damage – thus, scientists believe that in the future an improved version of the material can serve as the basis for the development of a wide variety of devices for ocean research.
In addition to this direction, such a material can be extremely useful for those devices that must withstand a sufficiently strong pressure of water and not be immersed in it. The new material is based on the use of a metal structure created using fast femtosecond laser pulsations, with which scientists literally applied a metal structure to the surface of the water – and with the help of an additional set of micro and nanopatterns, they managed to stabilize the material, further improving its hydrophobic properties.
As for their main secret, it consists in the fact that the material uses special internal nanocapsules filled with air, which retain the material on the surface and do not allow water to outweigh the material. In addition, in the subsequent development format, scientists added the use of so-called aluminum plates, which made the final structure even easier and more interesting for use in complex aqueous environments and situations.
It is not yet clear when scientists will present the final version of the new laser metal, but it is assumed that this will happen closer to the end of this year – and maybe to the beginning of the next. Of course, it is still too early to talk about how this material can be used in the development of new devices and technologies, but now it has a really promising character and in general is pleased with its properties.