New study solves the mystery of how soft water droplets eliminate hard skin

New study solves the mystery of how soft water droplets eliminate hard skin

A new study led by researchers from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities reveals why water droplets can destroy hard surfaces, a finding that could help engineers develop better they are more resistant to erosion. The image above shows the effect of small droplets on sandy skin (left) and solid skin (right). Available: Cheng Research Group, University of Minnesota

A first study of its kind led by researchers at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities shows why drops of water can destroy hard skin. Knowledge can help engineers design better, more effective erosion resistant materials.

Using a newly developed technology, the researchers were able to measure parameters such as shear intensity and the pressure created by the effect of water droplets on the skins, something learned by sight.

The paper is printed on Nature Communications.

Researchers have been studying the effects of droplets for years, from the way rain falls on the soil to the transport of pathogens such as COVID-19 to aerosols. It is common knowledge that slow drops of water can damage the skin over time. But why can a soft and watery material make such a big impact on hard surfaces?

“There are different words in eastern and western culture like ‘Dripping water hollows out stone,'” explains Xiang Cheng, senior author on the paper and professor at the University of Minnesota Department of Chemical Engineering. and Materials Science. “Those words are meant to teach a good lesson: ‘Keep going. Even if you’re weak, if you keep working, you’ll make a decision.’ But if you find something as soft as droplets hitting something very hard like rocks, you can’t help thinking, ‘Why would the effect be so devastating? to fall? ‘ That question is what motivated our research. “






Watch a video that slowly shows the effect of a drop of water on the sand surface. Available: University of Minnesota

In the past, the droplet effect has been observed using high -resolution cameras. The University of Minnesota researchers’ new technique, called high stress microscopy, provides a more comprehensive way to study this phenomenon by accurately measuring strength, intensity. , and the pressure under the drop of water as they hit the skins.

The researchers found that the force released by a droplet actually spreads with a droplet effect – rather than being fixed to the center of the droplet – and that the speed of the droplet’s propagation was faster than that of the droplet. the speed of sound in short periods of time, producing a vibration. waves on the skin. Each droplet acts like a small bubble, releasing its impact energy with the explosion and giving it the energy it needs to destroy the skins over time.

In addition to developing a new way to study the droplet effect, this research could help engineers design anti -erosion sides for applications that need to deal with a wide range of applications. outside. Cheng and his lab at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities planned to expand this research to study how different shapes and objects change the amount of energy produced by water droplets.

“For example, we paint the skin of the house or wind turbine coats to protect the skins,” Cheng said. “But in the long run, rain droplets can be damaged as a result. Therefore, our research after this paper will see if we can reduce the amount of shear stress of the droplets, where we can develop special skins that can reduce stress. “

In addition to Cheng, the research team includes a University of Minnesota chemical engineering Ph.D. student Ting-Pi Sun, University of Santiago, Chile Assistant Professor Leonardo Gordillo and undergraduate students Franco Álvarez-Novoa and Klebbert Andrade, and O’Higgins University, Chile Assistant Professor Pablo Gutiérrez.


Heat transfer is important for droplet dynamics


More information:
Giving the skin firmness and elasticity of the droplet effect, Nature Communications (2022). DOI: 10.1038 / s41467-022-29345-x

Presented by the University of Minnesota

Directions: New study solves the mystery of the elimination of soft drops on hard skin (2022, March 31) Retrieved 31 March 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-03- mystery-soft-liquid-droplets-erode.html

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