• 2019 November 11 16:44

    University of Rochester create a metallic structure that won't sink

    University of Rochester researchers, inspired by diving bell spiders and rafts of fire ants, have created a metallic structure that is so water repellent, it refuses to sink—no matter how often it is forced into water or how much it is damaged or punctured, the University website reports.

    Could this lead to an unsinkable ship? A wearable flotation device that will still float after being punctured? Electronic monitoring devices that can survive in long term in the ocean?

    All of the above, says Chunlei Guo, professor of optics and physics, whose lab describes the structure in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.

    The structure uses a groundbreaking technique the lab developed for using femtosecond bursts of lasers to “etch” the surfaces of metals with intricate micro- and nanoscale patterns that trap air and make the surfaces superhydrophobic, or water repellent.

    The researchers found, however, that after being immersed in water for long periods of time, the surfaces may start to lose their hydrophobic properties.

    Enter the spiders and fire ants, which can survive long periods under or on the surface of water. How? By trapping air in an enclosed area. Argyroneta aquatic spiders, for example, create an underwater dome-shaped web—a so-called diving bell— that they fill with air carried from the surface between their super-hydrophobic legs and abdomens. Similarly, fire ants can form a raft by trapping air among their superhydrophobic bodies.

    “That was a very interesting inspiration,” Guo says. As the researchers note in the paper: “The key insight is that multifaceted superhydrophobic (SH) surfaces can trap a large air volume, which points towards the possibility of using SH surfaces to create buoyant devices.”

    Guo’s lab created a structure in which the treated surfaces on two parallel aluminum plates face inward, not outward, so they are enclosed and free from external wear and abrasion. The surfaces are separated by just the right distance to trap and hold enough air to keep the structure floating—in essence creating a waterproof compartment. The superhydrophobic surfaces will keep water from entering the compartment even when the structure is forced to submerge in water.

    Even after being forced to submerge for two months, the structures immediately bounced back to the surface after the load was released, Guo says. The structures also retained this ability even after being punctured multiple times, because air remains trapped in remaining parts of the compartment or adjoining structures.

    Though the team used aluminum for this project, the “etching process “could be used for literally any metals, or other materials,” Guo says.

    When the Guo lab first demonstrated the etching technique, it took an hour to pattern a one-inch-by-one-inch area of surface. Now, by using lasers seven times as powerful, and faster scanning, the lab has speeded up the process, making it more feasible for scaling up for commercial applications.

    Coauthors include lead author Zhibing Zhan, Mohamed ElKabbash, Jihua Zhang, and Subhash Singh, all PhD candidates or postdoctoral fellows in Guo’s lab, and Jinluo Cheng, associate professor at the Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics, and Physics in China.

    The project was supported by funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the US Army Research Office, and National Science Foundation.




2019 December 12

17:05 The European Federation of Inland Ports welcomes the Green Deal for Europe
16:46 MOL orders 2 next-generation 'EeneX' coal carriers
16:43 Throughput of port Kaliningrad in Jan-Nov’2019 fell by 21% Y-o-Y to 10.20 million tonnes
16:26 Klaipėda LNG terminal welcomed three large and four small LNG vessels in November
16:05 Air quality sensor in the Port of Rotterdam checks sulphur emissions from shipping
15:57 Throughput of port Vyborg in Jan-Nov’2019 fell by 35% Y-o-Y to 1.12 million tonnes
15:34 Alewijnse wins electrical contracts for two additional Combi Freighters at Damen Yichang Shipyard
15:00 Throughput of port Vysotsk in Jan-Nov'2019 climbed by 6% Y-o-Y to 17.90 million tonnes
14:36 Krasnoye Sormovo shipyard launches dry cargo carrier Pola Anastasia of Project RSD59
14:12 CMA CGM announces FAK Reefer Rates from North Europe to Asia and Middle East
13:53 Bunker market sees mixed price movements at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
13:31 NLNG signs sales deal with Vitol SA
13:12 Austal USA delivers USNS Puerto Rico to U.S. NAVY
12:49 Throughput of port Primorsk in Jan-Nov’2019 grew by 16% Y-o-Y to 56.25 million tonnes
12:24 Lead nuclear-powered icebreaker of Project 22220, Arktika, left for sea trials
12:00 ABS publishes Fuel Cell Guidance to support industry decarbonization objectives
11:38 Port of Ust-Luga handled 95.31 million tonnes in 11M’18, up 6% Y-o-Y
11:13 Throughput of Port St. Petersburg in 11M'2019 grew by 2% to 55.01 million tonnes
11:10 Verifavia Shipping undertakes IHM services for 29 Attica Group vessels
10:56 Wärtsilä to divest its ELAC Nautik business
10:49 Throughput of port Riga (Latvia) in 11M’2019 fell by 9.4% Y-o-Y to 30 million tonnes
10:26 TransContainer dispatched test train from Korea to Poland
10:05 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Dec 12
09:47 Brent Crude futures price is up 0.41% to $63.98, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.14% to $58.84
09:31 Baltic Dry Index is down to 1,460 points
09:08 Viking Line’s new vessel to be equipped with Climeon Heat Power System
08:12 Nautilus Labs becomes new Inmarsat fleet data application provider

2019 December 11

18:33 Kongsberg and the Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue join forces to develop new SAR solutions
18:03 DOF Subsea secures integrated FSV contract in Africa
17:50 NCSP Group's consolidated cargo turnover for 10 months of 2019 totaled 121.2 million tons
17:32 Equinor completes the acquisition of a 50 % interest in the offshore wind development project Bałtyk I in Poland from Polenergia
17:25 LNG in the era of decarbonization: the 6th International LNG Congress 2020 brings up environmental questions
17:13 Port Houston sets new records at container terminals in November 2019
16:54 World's first liquefied hydrogen carrier SUISO FRONTIER launches building an international hydrogen energy supply chain aimed at carbon-free society
16:32 Seaspan Shipyards delivers its second offshore fisheries science vessel to the Canadian Coast Guard
16:13 Port of Virginia сargo volume up nearly 4% in November 2019
15:49 Throughput of port Taganrog in 11M'2019 fell by 7% to 2.59 million tonnes
15:32 Aker BP first ever to use new well stimulation method offshore
15:12 Port of Savannah container volumes up 5.4 percent in November 2019
14:51 Sovcomflot named Company of the Year at the 2019 Lloyd’s List Europe Awards
14:32 Aker Solutions secures contract to support the development of BP’s Cypre project, offshore Trinidad and Tobago
14:12 Port of Oakland export volume up 5.8 percent in November 2019
13:50 Bunker prices are flat at the port of Novorossiysk, Russia (graph)
13:32 Belships enters into two letters of intent for the acquisition of two Ultramax bulk carriers
13:11 Port of Los Angeles moves 728,918 TEUs in November 2019
12:47 Dredge Yard receives an order for a customized Cutter Suction Dredger from Western Potash
12:47 Yamal LNG received all 15 Arc7 ice-class tankers
12:25 Wärtsilä & CSSC Huangpu Wenchong Shipbuilding Company Limited agree to jointly develop hybrid vessels for the future
12:23 Admiralteiskie Verfi shipyard starts metal cutting for fourth super trawler ordered by Russian Fishery Company
12:01 ABS and DSME sign digitalization and decarbonization JDP agreement
11:31 New mobile crane increases APM Terminals Yucatán’s productivity by 40%
11:19 Throughput of Russian seaports in 11M'2019 grew by 2.7% to 766.8 million tonnes of cargo (detalization)
11:12 First LNG bunkering delivered concurrent cargo operations in port of Amsterdam
10:59 Port of Long Beach cargo volumes dip 3.5% in November 2019
10:54 Navigation season of 2019 is over on Russia’s IWW with shipping closed in Azov-Don Basin
10:30 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Dec 11
10:18 Swedish businesses informed about benefits of Latvian transport corridor
09:51 Bunker prices show no certain trend at the port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
09:32 Brent Crude futures price is down 0.62% to $64.93, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.52% to $58.93
09:15 Baltic Dry Index is down to 1,528 points