Butterfly Wings and Nanotechnology

Researchers at Ohio State University are experimenting with a variety of nature’s best and cleanest species. From shark, to butterfly, to fish scales and even rice leaves and see how they compare to keeping dirt off as well as reduce drag. This is, in particular, important for medical products, transportation (airline and trucking), and oil pipelines as well. The natural characteristics that each of these species have are central to their survival. If a butterfly gets dirty it can’t fly. It needs an effective means of getting the dirt off quickly.

After a dirt test, early indications show that shark skin was best at 98% washing off followed by the rice leaves at 90% and the butterfly at 85%. To put this in perspective a flat surface was only 70% clean after washing off. The composite of each of these materials make it interesting in developing inner or outer coatings of products to keep these products clean or enable drag to be reduced exponentially. Very interesting stuff for a variety of industries. The entire article can be found here.