If there is such a metal in the year, the Titanic may not sink.


Editor’s Note: This article is from WeChat public account “Love Fan” (ID: ifanr), author Li Chaofan, 36氪 authorized to publish.”You jump, I jump!” This scene in the movie “Titanic” touched many people. It is known that the tragedy of the Titanic hit the iceberg, but there are many reasons for the sinking of the ship.One way to say that the latest steel used in the Titanic is sturdy, but lacks toughness, so it is immediately broken by an iceberg impact.Recently, however, Professor Guo Chunlei from the University of Rochester in the United States has created a metal that will not sink. This metal can float on the surface of the water. Even if the metal surface has several holes, it will not sink into the water.Published in the academic journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.According to Professor Guo Chunlei, this is a technique that uses lasers to make materials hydrophobic.The researchers used a femtosecond laser (a laser that fires in pulses, often used in myopia correction surgery) to etch a large number of fine lines with nano-structures on the metal surface that trap large amounts of air for hydrophobicity.Allows the metal to float on the surface of the water.In fact, Guo Chunlei’s team made this super-hydrophobic material as early as 2015, completely separating water and metal.The problem is that if it is immersed in water for a long time, the material on the metal surface will wear out in friction with water and gradually lose its hydrophobicity.But the newly released “unsinkable” metal has solved this problem, and Guo Chunlei expressed inspiration from diving bell spiders and fire ants.Both animals can stay in the water or on the water for a long time.The diving bell spider can fix the bubbles with the hair on the legs and abdomen and stay in the water for a whole day.Picture from: National Geographic and fire ants can use the body to build a fire ant floating on the water when encountering floods. The fire ant group uses a stick to push the fire ants down hard, and the fire ants will closely follow each other.With the force of bending and stretching, it can be wetted by water like a hydrophobic cloth.Image courtesy of The Conversation Based on the characteristics of these two animals, the researchers created a new structure that connects two treated aluminum surfaces with a small rod and calculates the best one that can hold enough air to float.The distance creates a waterproof compartment that floats even if the entire piece of metal is completely immersed in water.The research team tried to press the metal on the bottom of the water for two months. After the weight was removed, the metal immediately floated to the surface.Even if seven holes of different sizes are opened on the metal surface, the waterproof compartment will not enter the water and the metal will remain floating.Researchers say the technology can be used on any metal or other material, such as a ship that is severely damaged and will not sink.Last year, the US military tested a superhydrophobic coating on the submarine, which created a layer of air bubbles on the ship to reduce water resistance.It can make the submarine run more stable and faster, while improving fuel efficiency.Obviously such a technique can also be applied to a general vessel.In addition to nautical tools, this technology can also be used in cars and airplanes, so that the windshield and aircraft wings will not freeze, and even the waterproof function of digital devices such as smartphones can be improved several levels.The project has been funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the US Army Research Office, and the National Science Foundation. The research team said it is accelerating research and promoting the commercial application of this material.The picture is from: Titanic