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New material enables water to flow uphill

Posted on Monday, 11 August, 2014 | Comment icon 7 comments

The material can direct the flow of water droplets. Image Credit:
Scientists have developed a remarkable new magnetic microhair material inspired by animal hair.
Consisting of a layer of transparent flexible silicone, the new wonder material contains an array of nickel microhairs which measure only a quarter the diameter of a human hair.

The material works by applying a magnetic field to one side which causes the hairs to orient themselves in that direction. This effect is particularly useful as it gives the material unique properties with a range of potential real world applications.

One of these is the ability for the material to vary how much light can pass through it, a feature that could be used in remote controlled windows that can be darkened and lightened on demand.

The most interesting feature of the new material however is the ability to direct the flow of water droplets flowing on its surface. The direction of the microhairs also influences the direction of the drops, meaning that a windscreen for example could be designed to direct raindrops off to the sides.

Most remarkably of all however is the fact that by orienting the hairs vertically it is even possible to have the drops of water flow upwards against the pull of gravity.

Source: Gizmag | Comments (7)

Tags: Magnetic, Microhair

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Paranomaly on 11 August, 2014, 11:50
I love a me a hairy window. Thanks science!
Comment icon #2 Posted by maximusnow on 11 August, 2014, 12:17
Comment icon #3 Posted by Sundew on 11 August, 2014, 13:58
The material may be new, but under certain circumstances water can creep uphill by capillary action, this may just make that process more efficient.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Child of Bast on 11 August, 2014, 21:31
Comment icon #5 Posted by pbarosso on 12 August, 2014, 2:54
ok. this is awesome. now, we can cause water to flow up hill in a continuous cycle of water wheel style or turbine power generation. this is the perpetual motion device we have been waiting for. unless it requires energy to cause thewater to flow uphill that is............
Comment icon #6 Posted by RoofGardener on 12 August, 2014, 14:58
I can only assume that the water "flows uphill" due to capillary action ? If that is the case, then the difficulty with the "endless water wheel" would be getting the water to LEAVE the material at the top of the hill ?
Comment icon #7 Posted by bigjonalien on 12 August, 2014, 21:54
ow! u mean one micron thick?

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