Absorbing Bubbles

This is a bubble absorber. It’s formed from an array of three springs, seen end-on in the upper center, each of which is coated to make it superhydrophobic. The hollow interior of the springs is filled with air and ventilated to the atmosphere. As bubbles rise through the water, they contact the springs and readily coalesce with the interior gas. In the blink of an eye, the large bubble is almost completely absorbed into the thin air film that clings to the springs. Superhydrophobic arrays like these may be useful in power and life support systems that need to separate liquid and gas phases under low-gravity conditions. (Image credit: N. Pour and D. Thiessen, source)

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