Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Earth Science News .




WATER WORLD
Nature inspires new submarine design
by Staff Writers
Beijing, China (SPX) Jun 20, 2012


The water boatman can swim freely and breathe in water. The study showed that the superhydrophobicity of the water boatman's hind wings plays a crucial role in its swimming, breathing, and balance, as well as its ability to escape from the water surface under unfavorable conditions.

Superhydrophobicity is one of most important interfacial properties between solids and liquids. SHI Yanlong and his group from the College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Key laboratory of Hexi Corridor Resources Utilization of Gansu Universities, Hexi University investigated the superhydrophobicity of the water boatman's hind wings.

The study showed that superhydrophobicity plays a crucial role in the water boatman's swimming, balance, and breathing in water, and in its escape ability from water area under unfavorable conditions. Their work, entitled "Investigation of superhydrophobicity on water boatman's hind wings", was published in the Chinese Science Bulletin 2012, Vol 57 (14).

Recently, studies of superhydrophobicity have attracted much interest because of its potential practical applications. In nature, lotus leaves, water-striders' legs, and some insects' wings exhibit perfect superhydrophobicity.

Inspired by these superhydrophobic characteristics within living organisms, scientists have invented many ways to fabricate artificial superhydrophobic materials.

Superhydrophobic surfaces are commonly constructed either by creating micro/nanostructures on hydrophobic substrates or by chemically modifying micro/nanostructured surfaces with materials of low surface free energy.

Research on superhydrophobicity has seldom focused on insects that live in water. In this report, the authors investigated the water-dwelling water boatman, which belongs to the Corixidae family of the order Hemiptera, suborder Heteroptera.

The water boatman can swim freely and breathe in water. The study showed that the superhydrophobicity of the water boatman's hind wings plays a crucial role in its swimming, breathing, and balance, as well as its ability to escape from the water surface under unfavorable conditions.

The water boatman's metapodia are quant-like and keep swinging while it swims; counterforces between the metapodia and water push the water boatman forward or downward. When the metapodia stop swinging, its body begins to float upward because of the buoyancy induced by the perfect superhydrophobicity of the water boatman's hind wings.

Superhydrophobic surfaces are usually induced because of the synergistic effects of hierarchical micro/nanoscale binary structures and low surface free energy. Scanning-electron microscopy studies of the micro/nanoscale structure revealed that the surface of the water boatman's hind wings is composed of mastoids and nanorods with diameters of about 80nm and 50-100nm, with typical mastoid-to-mastoid and rod-to-rod distances of about 50-200nm and 300-1000nm, respectively.

Moreover, the insect's wing surface contains low surface energy protein, lipid, and chitin materials, which are hydrophobic. The superhydrophobicity of the water boatman's hind wings is presumed to originate from the combination of such a hierarchical surface structure together with hydrophobic materials contained on the wing. Water contact angles on the wing surface were measured to be 159 degrees and the glide angle was about 8 degrees.

According to Cassie's theory, contact between water droplets and the water boatman's hind wings is a composite contact of solid-liquid-gas. On the rough hierarchical surface, air can be trapped within the micro/nanoscale structures on the wing surface, which makes it difficult for water to enter into the structures to fully wet the surface.

The overall contact area between water droplets and air trapped within the micro/nanoscale structures can be roughly estimated to be about 9% (the corresponding contact area between water drops and solid wing surface is about 91%).

The superhydrophobicity of the water boatman's hind wings enables it to swim freely, breathe in water with the assistance of air trapped on its hind wings' surfaces, and escape easily from water area under unfavorable conditions without being affected by moisture.

This research may provide a new strategy for submarine design and the fabrication of a water boatman robot which could swim in water and walk on water surface. Water boatman robots with strong wave resistance and high walking stability on water could be outfitted with miniature biochemical sensors , the biomimetic boatman robots may be used to monitor chemicals at water area for environmental monitoring and cleaning applications, and can be teleoperated or controlled autonomously.

Wang Y S, Shi Y L, Feng X J, et al. Investigation of superhydrophobicity on water boatman's hind wings (in Chinese). Chin Sci Bull (ChinVer), 2012,57:1227-1230, doi: 10.1360/972011-2636.

.


Related Links
Science in China Press
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





WATER WORLD
China submersible to plumb new ocean depths
Shanghai (AFP) June 11, 2012
A Chinese submersible is poised to attempt the country's deepest-ever manned dive, state media said Monday, as Beijing seeks to reach another technological milestone. The "Jiaolong" craft has arrived at a designated area in the Pacific Ocean aboard a Chinese ship and is set to dive 7,000 metres (22,960 feet) into the Mariana Trench, the official Xinhua news agency said. The vessel - nam ... read more


WATER WORLD
Population displacement during disasters predicted using mobile data

Japan sorry for not using US radiation map

Nearly 15 million people displaced by disasters in 2011

Experts discuss better nuclear disaster communication

WATER WORLD
Samsung launches new phone in US, taking on Apple

China defends rare earths policy

Apple fined $2.29 mln over Australian '4G' iPad

Space is Big, But Getting Smaller

WATER WORLD
Study suggests expanded concept of 'urban watershed'

Oracle chief buys Hawaiian island

Nature inspires new submarine design

Arctic methane gas could spell trouble for Florida coastline

WATER WORLD
Paul McCartney, Penelope Cruz join 'Arctic sanctuary' drive

Arctic once had extreme warm periods: study

Spanish Scientist Participate in the Most Comprehensive Study Ever Done on Ice

Warm Climate - Cold Arctic?

WATER WORLD
Link between vitamin C and twins can increase seed production in crops

Over 30 years of global soil moisture observations for climate applications

Key part of plants' rapid response system revealed

Researchers search for viruses to save honeybees

WATER WORLD
Chris becomes season's first Atlantic hurricane

Thousands evacuated as storm strikes Taiwan

UN says Afghan quakes killed 75

One dead as powerful typhoon cuts across Japan

WATER WORLD
'I was shot for defying Kagame', says Rwanda's ex-army boss

Rwanda's ex-army boss testifies of betrayal in murder bid

Lions on the loose in Kenyan capital's urban jungle

US expanding secret spy bases in Africa: report

WATER WORLD
Google sets out to save dying languages

Adaptable decision making in the brain

The Rare Biosphere of the Human Body

Expanding waistlines threaten the planet: researchers




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement