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Nature-inspired trapped air cushion surfaces for environmentally sustainable antibiofouling

Rawlinson, Joe M.; Cox, Harrison J.; Hopkins, Grant; Cahill, Patrick; Badyal, Jas Pal S.

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Authors

Joe M. Rawlinson

Harrison J. Cox

Grant Hopkins

Patrick Cahill



Abstract

Feathers of seabirds and waterfowl (for example the mallard duck (Anas platyrhynchos)) consist of hierarchical fibrillar structures encapsulated with hydrophobic preen oil. These characteristics afford waterproofing through the entrapment of air pockets, enabling swimming and diving for such bird species. This liquid repellency mechanism for bird feathers is mimicked by surface hydrophobisation of fibrous nonwoven polypropylene textiles to create large volumes of trapped air at the solid–liquid interface (plastron). Higher static water contact angle values correlate to a greater resistance towards water ingress (akin to the behaviour of mallard feathers). In order to extend the trapped gas layer lifetimes, the transportation of air from the water surface to a submerged air bubble by the diving bell spider (Argyroneta aquatica) for respiration is mimicked via short duration (< 1 s) solar-powered air bubble bursts once every 2 h. This combination of ornithological and arachnological inspired approaches yields stable trapped gas layers at the solid–liquid interface which are shown to inhibit biofouling in real-world outdoor wet environments.

Citation

Rawlinson, J. M., Cox, H. J., Hopkins, G., Cahill, P., & Badyal, J. P. S. (2023). Nature-inspired trapped air cushion surfaces for environmentally sustainable antibiofouling. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, 656, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.colsurfa.2022.130491

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 3, 2022
Online Publication Date Nov 10, 2022
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date Jan 4, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jan 4, 2023
Journal Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects
Print ISSN 0927-7757
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 656
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.colsurfa.2022.130491

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