Phenomena

Unsinkable Hydrophobic Metal

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Although we typically describe hydrophobic surfaces as “water-repelling,” we could just as easily focus on the fact that they’re “air-attracting.” This video from The Action Lab demonstrates that property nicely with a hydrophobic-coated “boat” that’s effectively unsinkable, thanks to its ability to trap air pockets.

Even punching holes through the boat doesn’t sink it because its surface is so chemically and physically attractive to air that the bubble won’t budge. In fact, as the video demonstrates, the only effective way to remove the hydrophobicity is to remove the air bubble by using a vacuum chamber. But even then, the effect only lasts until air is reintroduced to the boat. (Image and video credit: The Action Lab)

P.S. – No, this is not an April Fool’s joke, just actual science! – Nicole

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