Surface Matters

By April 27, 2017News

Companies like Hoowaki, Kiyatec, and Ionbond IHI look to nature for high-tech inspiration.

Tire, golf ball, moth, felt, pearl, cell. All have at least one thing in common: surface.

As a former peach farmer, I know about peach fuzz. It’s not just about the irritation imparted to the folds of one’s skin following hours of picking in the summer heat. A peach has special powers. The tiny hairs on its surface endow the peach with the ability to suspend water droplets atop the hairs so that the main surface retains airflow. That fuzzy topology sheds water and reduces the fruit’s tendency to prematurely develop brown rot fungus.

Consider the example of a bird egg. Its surface seems completely solid but it is actually covered with thousands of tiny pores that permit gas exchange for the growing chick. While great high magnification images may be found, you do not need a powerful microscope to recognize this. All have observed the gas bubbles being expressed from inside when preparing a boiled egg.

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