Using various methods to create intricately patterned surfaces, engineers can make materials that attempt to closely mimic the beetle's back. What researchers have done is create surfaces that so excel at repelling or attracting water, they've added a "super" at the front of their description: superhydrophobic or superhydrophilic. By varying the layout of these surfaces, researchers can now trap, direct and repulse small amounts of water for a variety of new purposes. Find out more in this discovery.
Credit: Constantine M. Megaridis, Aritra Ghosh, Ranjan Ganguly, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Illinois at Chicago
The Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport (CBET) Systems of the Directorate for Engineering supports innovative research and education in the fields of chemical engineering, biotechnology, bioengineering, and environmental engineering, and in areas that involve the transformation and/or transport of matter and energy by chemical, thermal or mechanical means.
Cavitation bubbles can kill fish and damage boat propellers. Virginia Tech University researchers say learning more about cavitation bubbles could harness that power for industrial uses, like safer cleaning processes.
January 11, 2016
Cavitation bubbles bursting with cleaning power
These bubbles may be able to rid fruits and vegetables of E. coli and Salmonella without chemicals
It's easy to think of soap suds when one thinks of bubbles, but these bubbles can clean without chemicals. These are cavitation bubbles, which are created when air is churned up in water. And what researchers are learning could ultimately lead to chemical-free cleaning methods for fruits and vegetables.
With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), biofluid scientist Sunghwan "Sunny" Jung and his team at Virginia Tech are studying how a cavitation bubble creates a suctioning effect when it collapses, pulling everything close by toward it. Cavitation bubbles are already in use for certain industrial applications, such as cleaning water at treatment plants. Jung's fluid mechanics lab is working with food scientists to see how effective cavitation bubbles are at pulling everything from soil to E. coli and Salmonella away from the smooth surface of a tomato or the bumpy surface of a cantaloupe. In the future, Jung envisions bubble machines as a common appliance at farmer's markets and maybe even in households.
Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations presented in this material are only those of the presenter grantee/researcher, author, or agency employee; and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.