A new multilayered nanocoating could make future clothes more than just stain-resistant — they’ll be stain-offensive, actively sloughing off dirt and gunk to protect the fabric underneath. Instead of merely repelling water or grease, clothing will push them away.
A new artificial material appropriately named SLIPS is one of the most slippery materials ever created. The new material, developed at Harvard, is self-cleaning and never gets dirty for a simple reason: nothing can stick to it.
Anyone who's ever spilled a hot beverage in his or her lap will be happy to hear that chemists at the University of Minnesota have announced a scaldproof fabric.
Water-resistant fabric, of course, has already existed for some time -- but its impermeability applies only to cool liquids. Hot coffee, scalding soup, and other liquids above a certain temperature, on the other hand, seep right through water-resistant cloth.
Dolphins are elegant swimmers, but waterlily leaf beetle larvae take first place for the simplest stroke. The insect just arches its back to manipulate a basic physics principle that lets it glide across water. Now engineers have borrowed this technique to make a tiny boat that could autonomously patrol water reservoirs for months on just a watch battery.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.