American Chemical Society
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Ultrafast Self-Healing Superhydrophobic Surface for Underwater Drag Reduction

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posted on 2022-08-24, 14:05 authored by Pengfei Sun, Xiaoming Feng, Guizhong Tian, Xiaowei Zhang, Jiahui Chu
The self-healing superhydrophobic surfaces have attracted great interest owing to restoring superhydrophobicity without preparation crafts. However, the self-healing superhydrophobic surface still faces the dilemma of long repairing time. Especially in aqueous environments, superhydrophobic surfaces are highly susceptible to contamination and damage. In the current study, a superhydrophobic surface with ultrafast repairability was developed, which apply for drag reduction in aqueous medium. The prepared superhydrophobic surface can recover superhydrophobicity in only 30 s after severe physical and chemical damage. In addition, this research pioneered the combination of superhydrophobicity and porous structures for underwater drag reduction. The study of drag reduction confirms that the superhydrophobic surface can reduce the frictional drag by about 43% in the water. However, the drag reduction rate of the superhydrophobic surface with the porous structure can be improved to 76% due to increased stability of the air layer. More importantly, the porous structure with the average pore size of 50 μm has the most excellent stability through further experiments on the underwater air layer. This is attributed to the proper size of the pore to effectively balance the capillary force and resist wetting in the marginal region. This study will bring inspiration for the large-scale application of superhydrophobic surfaces and long-term drag reduction.