Janine Benyus, Science Writer: lotus effect

5083: “I think the product you’re going to see next is a product that comes from the Lotus Effect, and that is mimicking the bumps on leaves. Leaves are actually self-cleaning because their surface is very bumpy and dirt particles…

Janine Benyus, Science Writer: lotus effect

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5083: “I think the product you’re going to see next is a product that comes from the Lotus Effect, and that is mimicking the bumps on leaves. Leaves are actually self-cleaning because their surface is very bumpy and dirt particles don’t have the chance to really adhere, they actually teeter on the tops of these bumps, and then rainwater cleans, balls up and cleans the dirt particles off the surface of the leaf. That’s how all of these leaves are cleaning themselves. So we’re starting to put that in building facade paints, and car paints, and inside of pipes and fabrics. So just mimicking form leads to extremely sustainable by-products because we’re not even dealing with detergent anymore. Those are the little things. Things like mimicking the way nature creates color. Why do we put paint on surfaces? It’s often toxic, it gases off, it bubbles off, its a mess. Why do we put paint on surfaces? Nothing in nature paints itself. What nature basically does, is it either uses pigments or it uses structural color. Like the last few layers of a peacock’s feathers play with light, and when the light comes in it has to follow this torturous path to get back out. And in following that path it creates all kinds of color. So the peacock itself is a brown animal, it’s a brown bird, blue jays are brown, Birds of Paradise are brown. Why is it that we have products that we put paint on? Why don’t we just take the last few layers of our product and create them as a structural surface that would play with light, that would be self-cleaning with water alone? Design, simple design, that could change dramatically the whole question of what’s a well-adapted product.”

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