Superhydrophobic and Oleophobic: NeverWet and the Lotus
For thousands of years, certain plants have had an extraordinary ability to repel water and oils.
Look at the lotus leaf or the peanut leaf. Nature provides them with a self-cleaning super-power. Their ability to repel water and keep dirt off themselves is the result of a combination of superhydrophobic and oleophobic properties.
What is superhydrophobic?
A superhydrophobic surface, also called an ultra-hydrophobic surface, is extremely hard to moisten. Superhydrophobic coatings repel water and force it to form into droplets. These droplets sit on the surface at angles that cause it to roll away. As these water droplets are repelled, they carry away oil particles. That makes them oleophobic as well.
What is oleophobic?
Oleophobic means that a surface will repel oils and lubricants. NeverWet’s oleophobic coating system is a spray-applied protectant that can help keep oil, mud, foods, and other contaminants off surfaces, so the surfaces remain free of dirt and debris.
NeverWet bio-mimics the amazing, self-cleaning abilities found in nature. It combines the superhydrophobic and oleophobic power witnessed in the lotus leaf and peanut leaf and puts that power in our own hands.
Cool Oil Removal and NeverWet
Because the lotus leaf repels water and water droplets carry away debris, it’s able to stay afloat. This is widely known as the “lotus effect.”
You can witness similar superhydrophobic and oleophobic properties in the peanut leaf, rose petals, jewelweed, and some insects and bird feathers as well! It’s pretty riveting to see these traits in action.
Watch this lotus leaf act like NeverWet:
These diving flies have superhydrophobic powers that enable them to dive into Mono Lake in California and walk around getting food! This amazing effect can also be described as de-wetting, when liquid pulls away and the surface stays completely dry.
Superhydrophobic and Oleophobic Coatings
The term “hydro” means water and the term “phobic” means fear or something you hate.
Likewise, “oleo” means oil.
You can see why NeverWet products are called superhydrophobic and oleophobic. Something that’s been treated with NeverWet is going to hate water and hate oil. Our superhydrophobic coatings help protect metal surfaces from corrosion, provide better insulating properties to fabrics, and add durability to cardboard packaging. NeverWet’s Oleophobic coatings are ideal for protecting metal, wood, concrete, and masonry.
Nature is amazing. Through biomimicry, we can emulate nature and help solve some human problems. With innovative NeverWet products, we keep surfaces clean and free from dirt longer and can add to a product’s longevity.