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|The Penguin's Amazing De-icing Secret|
Penguins are funny birds. They may be
flat-footed and flightless, but they have an amazing capacity to
stay dry despite jumping in and out of freezing water all day.
Our goal today is to understand how they do this.
It turns out that penguin feathers are made superhydrophobic by a combination of secreting preen oil that is produced by a gland near their tail and nanoscopic pores on their feathers that trap the air.1 These observations were first made by Dr. Pirouz Kavehpour at UCLA.2 The natural surface modifications allows water droplets to roll off before they have a chance to freeze. Additionally, since the drops do not wet the surface, heat loss is impeded and the freezing process is further slowed. That's why you never see penguins with chunks of ice stuck to their feathery coats despite temperatures as low as -40°F (-40°C) and 90 mph (40m/sec) winds in the Antarctic.
A better understanding of the icephobic properties of penguins' feathers can lead to the development of new and improved technologies for keeping power lines and airplane wings free of ice.3 How ironic that a flightless bird could potentially help improve flying.
1 American Physical Society's Division of Fluid Dynamics. (2015, November 23). The anti-icing tricks of penguins. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 21, 2018 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151123103844.htm
3 For more
on icephobicity, check out our
March 2015 Newsletter.
|New Product Announcement|
This month we are pleased to announce
a new product: a Custom Quadaxial Needle. Since 2010 we have been
fabricating custom coaxial and triaxial needles (aka, spinnerets) that are used mostly
for electrospinning applications. We're told that we make the best
custom spinnerets in the world. And we are humbled by that
pronouncement. So, based on customer feedback, we've started making
a quadaxial needle. Think of it as a needle in a needle in a needle
in a needle. Yea, it's kind of a tricky arrangement - but we've got
it down to a science.
We've made dozens of quadaxial
needles on a
custom basis. Now we offer them with easy on-line ordering using a
proprietary worksheet we've developed. We also currently offer a
Prebuilt Quadaxial Needle which is in stock and ready to ship. To learn more
about our Prebuilt and Custom Quadaxial Needles and instructions for
configuring and ordering one, feel free to visit
https://www.customspinnerets.com/quadaxial. We can make a Custom
Quadaxial Needle for you in a week or less.