A Study of Superhydrophobic Nature of Lotus Leaves and its Applications on Aircraft

Author(s): Arya P Mohan, J. V. Muruga Lal Jeyan

Abstract: Science, like art is not a copy of nature, but a re-creation. Lotus effect is one of the examples for this re-creation. The hydrophobic water repelling characteristics of the leaf is termed as “Lotus Effect” helps the plants to survive in its environment. The surface of the lotus leaves consists of microstructures that repel water and waxy nanostructures that are not easily wettable. These properties made them unique in nature and thus our concern. The surface of an aircraft is always in contact with the atmosphere. The atmosphere contains moisture, dust particles, various corrosive gasses, many types of insects etc. In a normal aircraft surface with or without having coats shows less resistance towards corrosion and ice creation phenomena. Insect contamination is another problem in this category. This study investigates the effectiveness of various hydrophobic and superhydrophobic surfaces in reducing the problem faced by the normal aircraft surface. Surface roughness on aircraft components as a result of ice creation, dust deposition, and insect residues can create aerodynamic instabilities, turbulence and increase drag. Overcoming these problems is essential for the functionality of next generation aircraft. This paper suggests some simple and cost effective methods for reducing these problems.