But are said materials capable of being as see throw as glass? I know people have mentioned things like neverwet etc but again, I don't know much about them but I believe its more of a coating than a material itself. Is it a one time application kinda thing or would it "wear off" over time so you need to keep applying it?
To all the people saying this won't work, I think given that this is McLaren, a world leader in motorsport I don't think they are going to invest time, money and effort into something that will doesn't stand a chance. I would imagine that these vibrations may be able to lift dirt by literally shakint it off the windscreen, or at least that would be their plan.
These materials are nothing short of amazing...
I think that if the McLaren system is good enough for fighter jets, it's certainly good enough for our cars These new materials will be what both fighter jets and cars use within the next decade or so.
Inspired by the carnivorous pitcher plant, we have invented a completely different conceptual approach to surface design that avoids the inherent limits of the current strategies. Based on this fundamental advance, we have created surfaces that show almost perfect slipperiness toward practically everything – polar and organic liquids, complex liquids like blood and oil, highly viscous substances like ketchup, even solid materials like ice, dust, and insects all slide off instantly and effortlessly. What’s more, the surfaces function under extreme conditions, self-heal, and are easily constructed from low-cost materials.
We infuse a porous substrate with a lubricating fluid such that the overlying film, rather than air or solid, serves as the slippery interface.
Making it transparent...
When we blink, the dynamic liquid film covering our eyes flushes out contaminants, integrates new tears and keeps our eyes moist, all the while maintaining an uninterrupted field of vision. Researchers have taken a hint from nature and designed a bio-inspired, eye-like material composed of tiny pores infused and coated in a continuous liquid film. Unlike eyes, however, this material is elastic. Because the outer surface is fluid, researchers can smoothly tune the material’s shape, transparency and behavior.
“This truly takes us to a new level in how we can design and program dynamic materials,” says Joanna Aizenberg, the Amy Smith Berylson professor of materials science at Harvard University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “Since just about every property of a surface—its color, liquid repellency, stickiness to bacteria—depends on its detailed topography, this opens up a whole range of possibilities for designing multifunctional adaptive materials.”
The new material allows Aizenberg and her colleagues to control the motion of liquid droplets in novel, previously unimagined ways. For example, by stretching and relaxing the material, a drop of water or oil sliding down the surface can be stopped and restarted on its downward journey. The team can differentially tune the stimulus sensitivity for different liquids, too, and use the same material for highly precise optical fine-tuning.
Several years ago, Aizenberg and hear colleagues announced SLIPS, a flat, perfectly smooth surface that repels just about anything, including blood, grease, bacteria, liquids and insects. This new material builds upon that previous creation and includes those same properties, but now the team can selectively introduce surface features back—and tune them out again—at will. “This gives a kind of ‘bottom-up’ control over everything that happens on the surface,” Aizenberg says. “The difference is just the material we use for the underlying substrate.”
In the real world, this may translate into a self-adapting tent that blocks out light on bright sunny days but becomes transparent and water-repellent during overcast, stormy conditions. Pipes or medical tubing could responsively adjust the flow of liquids upon detecting certain conditions, such as pressure or chemical impurities. Or optical lenses for glasses, contacts or sensors could be outfitted with precise self-tuning and self-cleaning abilities.