Boeing has developed actively controlled superhydrophobic surfaces

Water, ice, and surface contamination are significant problems in various industries including transportation, power, buildings, and consumer products. For example, ice accumulation can reduce the performance of aircraft and solar panels.

Image Credit - boldmethod
Image Credit – boldmethod

Hydrophobic surfaces are sometimes used to reduce the water and ice accumulation. However, conventional superhydrophobic surface structures are passive structures and generally relatively delicate structures.

Image Credit - AOPA
Image Credit – AOPA

Boeing’s superhydrophobic surface structures are actively-controlled surface structures exhibiting a superhydrophobic state and an ordinary state. They use MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical system) actuators to activate the superhydrophobic surface.

Image Credit - Gizmag
Image Credit – Gizmag

This technology will increase the safety of aircraft and also add some years to the their life

Image Credit - Hexapolis
Image Credit – Hexapolis
Patent Information
Publication number: US 20160114883
Patent Title: Actively-controlled superhydrophobic surfaces
Publication date: 28 Apr 2016
Filing date: 23 Oct 2014
Inventors: Joshua Benjamin Guerry; Peter Aaron Koch; Li Chun Chang; Robert Hans Thim;
Applicant: The Boeing Company