1. Subscribersonhouse
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    21 Jan '15 11:55
    http://www.piercepioneer.com/new-laser-technique-makes-metals-water-repellant/37104

    It all looks great till you come to the part where it says, right now it takes one hour to make one square inch hydrophobic🙂 Lets see, with one million of these lasers we can do 1 million square inches per hour, a bit over 80 square feet per hour. Why at that rate, you could do the metal roof's for a house in only a few days for one house.

    Makes you wonder why they would make such a big deal out of this report.
  2. SubscriberKewpie
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    28 Jan '15 03:25
    The first computers were room-sized. If they'd decided it was pointless then, life might be much different now.
  3. Cape Town
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    28 Jan '15 08:20
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    It all looks great till you come to the part where it says, right now it takes one hour to make one square inch hydrophobic🙂 Lets see, with one million of these lasers we can do 1 million square inches per hour, a bit over 80 square feet per hour. Why at that rate, you could do the metal roof's for a house in only a few days for one house.

    Makes you wonder why they would make such a big deal out of this report.
    Its not time that matters so much as power requirements. If you are making non-stick cooking equipment, the time factor would not be such a big issue unless either the lasers themselves are expensive to manufacture, or the power used is excessive.
  4. Subscribersonhouse
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    28 Jan '15 14:30
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Its not time that matters so much as power requirements. If you are making non-stick cooking equipment, the time factor would not be such a big issue unless either the lasers themselves are expensive to manufacture, or the power used is excessive.
    If all things were linear, it would take a single laser 1 million times stronger than the ones used in this experiment to do that 80 square feet per hour.

    I suppose stuff like that will come on line eventually.

    Till then though, this is a back burner. Proof of concept only.
  5. Cape Town
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    28 Jan '15 15:49
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    If all things were linear, it would take a single laser 1 million times stronger than the ones used in this experiment to do that 80 square feet per hour.

    I suppose stuff like that will come on line eventually.

    Till then though, this is a back burner. Proof of concept only.
    The article you linked says nothing about how long it takes or why.
    It does talk of femtosecond pulses which suggests they may have fairly low power requirements.
    I don't think you need stronger lasers to go faster, merely more lasers, or lasers with a larger coverage area.
    I also don't see why you insist on its first application being someones roof. Why not use it for much smaller objects?
  6. Subscribersonhouse
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    28 Jan '15 19:39
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    The article you linked says nothing about how long it takes or why.
    It does talk of femtosecond pulses which suggests they may have fairly low power requirements.
    I don't think you need stronger lasers to go faster, merely more lasers, or lasers with a larger coverage area.
    I also don't see why you insist on its first application being someones roof. Why not use it for much smaller objects?
    Here is the report that says the times: I had read several ones, I should have posted this one in the first place:

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/22/us/feat-metal-repels-water-rochester/
  7. Cape Town
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    28 Jan '15 20:21
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Here is the report that says the times: I had read several ones, I should have posted this one in the first place:

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/22/us/feat-metal-repels-water-rochester/
    But Guo is optimistic about ramping up the process for industrial use, and he says the goal for the sanitation project is to "really push the technology out" in the next two or three years.


    So no major obstacles it seems.
  8. Joined
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    28 Jan '15 21:18
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    But Guo is optimistic about ramping up the process for industrial use, and he says the goal for the sanitation project is to "really push the technology out" in the next two or three years.


    So no major obstacles it seems.
    People are always optimistic when looking for research investment, whether that optimism is justified or not.
  9. Joined
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    28 Jan '15 21:45
    Originally posted by Kewpie
    The first computers were room-sized. If they'd decided it was pointless then, life might be much different now.
    My problem with arguments like that is that sometimes [often] there are physical/economic
    factors that can be foreseen ahead of time which mean that a technology will never get of
    the ground commercially.

    I was reading an article recently about all the whacky 'futuristic' transport systems people
    dreamed up for 'the future' in the 50's and 60's. Most of which have never been adopted,
    despite actually working, because they either can't be practically mass produced or they
    just are not economic.

    Some technologies will follow a similar path to computers, and some will follow a path like
    the jet pack.

    Both had people claiming that they were the future, and both had detractors saying they
    were impractical and would never be anything but a niche product.

    I don't know the details of this project and have not yet read the article/s, so can't currently
    comment on which side this technology comes down on...

    But I do know that there are a number of projects working on making surfaces hydro- and oleo-
    Phobic... Some of which involve spray depositing a special coating on the surface.

    A process which is a quick, low energy use, reliable technology.

    Now that coating might well not be as hard wearing as this technology, but then many/most
    applications might not need to be so hard wearing.

    If these methods are 10th the price [which given we are comparing sprays with lasers is not
    an unreasonable assumption] and last 5 years before needing to be re-applied, then you are
    looking at the surface needing to last more than 50 years to recoup the difference...
    assuming that even nano-etchings in titanium last that long.

    There may well be niche uses in industrial machines with high wear and tear that this would
    be better for, but for [say] making hydrophobic cars and windows a 5 year coating for 1/10th
    the price/energy cost spray looks like a much more practical solution.


    Now of course I might wildly off on my numbers I pulled out of thin air... But my point is simply
    that it is actually often possible to look at a new technology and reliably predict [if using
    proper rational objective methods and accurate data] if that technology will actually be
    scalable and economic against competitors.

    Yes, sometimes those predictions can be wrong.

    But while we all know the success stories of technologies people didn't think would be big but were.

    We don't [often] hear the thousands of other stories of technologies that didn't work out where
    people were right.
  10. Subscribersonhouse
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    29 Jan '15 10:29
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    My problem with arguments like that is that sometimes [often] there are physical/economic
    factors that can be foreseen ahead of time which mean that a technology will never get of
    the ground commercially.

    I was reading an article recently about all the whacky 'futuristic' transport systems people
    dreamed up for 'the future' in the 50's and 60's. ...[text shortened]... r the thousands of other stories of technologies that didn't work out where
    people were right.
    If you could make superhydrophilic coatings on car windows, you might be able to do away with the windshield wiper or at least make it so the blades last ten times longer.
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    29 Jan '15 11:235 edits
    I had a thought:

    I wonder if there is a way to make a road surface so superhydrophobic that it prevents any black ice from actually adhering to the road surface as the ice forms so that the ice can then be simply swept off by a road sweeper before it causes a problem?

    Such a superhydrophobic surface would have to be designed so that it somehow maintains its extreme superhydrophobic property even with wear and tear with vehicle tires frequently doing microscopic damage to the surface -not sure if that is even possible.
  12. Subscribersonhouse
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    29 Jan '15 13:00
    Originally posted by humy
    I had a thought:

    I wonder if there is a way to make a road surface so superhydrophobic that it prevents any black ice from actually adhering to the road surface as the ice forms so that the ice can then be simply swept off by a road sweeper before it causes a problem?

    Such a superhydrophobic surface would have to be designed so that it somehow maintains i ...[text shortened]... cle tires frequently doing microscopic damage to the surface -not sure if that is even possible.
    Wouldn't a road such as that also be more like a surface made of teflon? In other words, dangerously slippery as well as superhydrophilic?
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    29 Jan '15 14:39
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Wouldn't a road such as that also be more like a surface made of teflon? In other words, dangerously slippery as well as superhydrophilic?
    Hydrophobic surfaces needn't also be anti-static/low friction surfaces.

    Many leaves [butterfly wings] are both hydrophobic and high friction.

    I suspect the best way to create a hard wearing hydrophobic road
    surface is to mix a hydrophobic chemical compound into the road surface,
    so that the material [and any new exposed surface] is naturally hydrophobic,
    which is a different approach from the one in the op where make surfaces
    hydrophobic through carefully controlling their micro-structure.

    The advantage of creating hydrophobic surfaces by altering the surface structure
    is that you have a wider array of materials you can make the surface out of.
    Including materials not naturally hydrophobic.

    However for surfaces that undergo wear and tear [not to mention foreign matter
    deposition] that might/would destroy the delicate micro-structure, it's probably better
    to develop and use materials that are naturally hydrophobic.
  14. Subscribersonhouse
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    29 Jan '15 19:08
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    Hydrophobic surfaces needn't also be anti-static/low friction surfaces.

    Many leaves [butterfly wings] are both hydrophobic and high friction.

    I suspect the best way to create a hard wearing hydrophobic road
    surface is to mix a hydrophobic chemical compound into the road surface,
    so that the material [and any new exposed surface] is naturally hy ...[text shortened]... o-structure, it's probably better
    to develop and use materials that are naturally hydrophobic.
    Even if said hydrophobic coating was good to start with, running semitrucks and SUV's on the road would wear down the coating, I give it one day before it loses any such effect.
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    29 Jan '15 19:47
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Even if said hydrophobic coating was good to start with, running semitrucks and SUV's on the road would wear down the coating, I give it one day before it loses any such effect.
    I didn't say coating.

    I was envisioning the hydrophobic compound to be present throughout the materiel, so wearing down the surface has no effect.

    Covering the materiel with other substances [mud, dust, leaves, rubber, oil, ect] would probably screw this plan up...

    But simple erosion of the surface wouldn't.

    I'm sorry if I didn't make this clear before.
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