Water Lily Inspires Waterproofing

Catch this biomimicriffic tidbit: Scientists are using lotus leaves to make better waterproofing fabrics. One of nature's most waterproof materials, the leaf of the lotus plant inspired scientists to develop a simple way to create synthetic coatings with exceptional anti-wetting properties. These coatings not only help to reduce drag on ship hulls and improve separation processes in mining industries, they can also help stain- and water-proof your favorite jacket. The air trapped in the crevices of a leaf's surface prevents water from adhering to the solid. Last year, researchers at a university in Turkey were able to re-create this naturally super-hydrophobic surface, making a highly-porous gel coating with water-repelling capabilities comparable with those of the lotus leaf.

Superhydrophobic coatings already in use often require expensive materials and time-intensive application procedures. The new findings show that the water repellency of polypropylene can now be significantly and easily increased in just one step.

No wonder the lotus is linked to the work "aum", the Sanskrit word that onomonopoetically signifies all things being at one with the universe. ::Scientific American