Water droplets + aerogel powder = superhydrophobic fun

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19 Responses to “Water droplets + aerogel powder = superhydrophobic fun”

  1. seyo says:

    beautiful. it could be the basis for some very interesting art/photo/motion graphics projects.

  2. d g says:

    Where can one purchase hydrophobic aerogel powder in hobbyist quantities? The closest I was able to find was 1mm granules at http://www.buyaerogel.com/.

  3. robdobbs says:

    These folks are working on bringing a spray to market: http://www.neverwet.com

  4. silkox says:

    Just like the mercury we used to play with on the kitchen floor!

    • John Boggs says:

       Us, too, though Mom wouldn’t put it on the floor. We used dinner plates.

      • Lilith999 says:

        Yipes. My mom told me once about how her mom would let her play with it, but only out on the concrete driveway. Still, she used to push and smoosh it with her fingers, even though she had been told not to. 

        • Thomas Shaddack says:

          Reminds me the fun we had with mercury when in the polarography lab class! Nothing feels like pouring metal from hand to hand. The reprimand from the teacher was worth it.

  5. Brad H. says:

    Not reading the headline the pyromaniac in me saw the match and liquid and thought kablammo!!!

  6. SomeGuyNamedMark says:

    Is the aerogel coating transparent and tough?  Would be great for car windshields.

  7. i want culinary-grade aerogel now…. let’s taking plating modernist cuisine dishes to the next level!

  8. confu says:

    When I was a  kid I noticed a similar effect in our shower; where the water dripped down from the soap dish it coated an area with a hydrophobic surface.
    After seeing this I just confirmed my assumption at the time that it had sth. to do with the calcium (and magnesium) in our hard water and the soap.
    As I just learned, these minerals and some soap ingredients react and the result is hydrophobic “soap scum” or “lime soap”.
    And as I further found out, this effect is i.a. traditionally used in Morocco for nearly waterproof plasters;
    see:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tadelakt
    Quite interesting.

  9. James B says:

    Wonder if you managed to got a thin sheet of water over this stuff, if  little quantum vortices would start to form like when they sprinkle hydrogen ice over superfluid helium.

  10. Aaron Swain says:

    Wow! This would be perfect for the inside of ketchup bott…….DAMN IT!!

  11. I work for a company (www.aerolenz.com) that makes insulation products for skylights using translucent, hydrophobic aerogel. We do this trick at trade shows. Haven’t ever gotten a finger dusty enough to do the glass of water trick linked above, but now I have to try.

  12. “Small people”? Heck, I’m 6 feet tall and I would LOVE to see this in person. Very cool!

  13. Susskins says:

    There were maze games in the seventies that worked with a drop of water rolling around in a plastic shell.  The water drop rode on some hydrophobic coating in the maze.  (Similar to earlier mercury mazes, but significantly less toxic.)  There was a small hole in the covering of the maze where you would drop in the water.

    My brother had one, and I was fascinated by it.  Can’t remember the name of them, and Google is not being particularly helpful tonight.  May have been “Slicksilver”, according to one forum post I saw, but I can’t find any more information.

  14. travtastic says:

    That’ll teach you to put off leveling your tables.

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