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The surfaces become super hydrophobic (extremely water resistant) and can prevent water from entering the central compartment even when the structure is forced to dive under water

New metal inspired by fire ants can lead to UNSINKABLE vessels and flotation aids that still work after being pierced

  • Fire ants create floating rafts by trapping air in their water-resistant limbs
  • The new metal is made by etching small lines that can catch air in bubbles
  • Even if it is forced under water, the metal can still float after the pressure is released
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Fire ants and a diving bubble spider have inspired the creation of a new metal that is so water resistant that it could someday lead to the creation of unsinkable ships.

The metal is made using very short lasers to etch small patterns on the surface & # 39; holding that air.

Even if the metal is forced to sink, it will return to the surface and float once the pressure is removed, according to researchers from the University of Rochester.

The surfaces become super hydrophobic (extremely water resistant) and can prevent water from entering the central compartment even when the structure is forced to dive under water

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The surfaces become super hydrophobic (extremely water resistant) and can prevent water from entering the central compartment even when the structure is forced to dive under water

& # 39; This could lead to an unsinkable ship, a portable buoyancy device that still floats after being pierced, and even electronic surveillance equipment that can survive in the ocean in the long term & # 39 ;, said Professor Chunlei Guo, who led the study

Fire ants can survive for a long time below or on the surface of the water by joining their limbs to form a raft.

They then catch air between their highly water-resistant bodies, keeping them afloat.

The team was inspired by fire ants who locked their limbs together on water to catch air pockets between their extremely water-resistant limbs that hold them up as a group

The team was inspired by fire ants who locked their limbs together on water to catch air pockets between their extremely water-resistant limbs that hold them up as a group

The team was inspired by fire ants who locked their limbs together on water to catch air pockets between their extremely water-resistant limbs that hold them up as a group

The process involves placing two treated metal surfaces inward with just enough space between them to create an air bubble

The process involves placing two treated metal surfaces inward with just enough space between them to create an air bubble

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The process involves placing two treated metal surfaces inward with just enough space between them to create an air bubble

The team was also inspired by Diving Bell Spiders, also known as Argyroneta water spiders.

The diving bell spider creates a dome-shaped web that it fills with air from the surface and then carries between its water-resistant legs and abdomen.

It then uses the air in the dome to breathe and only visits the surface when it needs to be refilled.

Professor Guo used this method to keep air in a bubble to ensure that even after a long time under water, his metal structures would still have enough air to float when they return to the surface.

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The process involves placing two treated metal surfaces inward with just enough space between them to create an air bubble.

The surfaces become super hydrophobic (extremely water resistant) and can prevent water from entering the central compartment even when the structure is forced to dive under water.

The University of Rochester team tried to pierce the surface and discovered that it could still float because part of the bubble would remain intact

The University of Rochester team tried to pierce the surface and discovered that it could still float because part of the bubble would remain intact

The University of Rochester team tried to pierce the surface and discovered that it could still float because part of the bubble would remain intact

Dr. Guo says that the etching process, which is central to creating the water-resistant surfaces, can be applied to any metal or other material.

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The team tested the metal by applying pressure to keep it under water for a longer period of time and then testing whether it would still float.

They also tried to pierce the surface and discovered that it could still float because part of the bubble would remain intact.

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