Water droplet splashing and aerosolization play a role in human hygiene and health systems as well as in crop culturing. Prevention or reduction of splashing can prevent transmission of diseases between animals and plants and keep technical systems such as pipe or bottling systems free of contamination. This study demonstrates to what extent the surface chemistry and structures influence the water droplet splashing behaviour. Smooth surfaces and structured replicas of Calathea zebrina (Sims) Lindl. leaves were produced. Modification of their wettability was done by coating with hydrophobizing and hydrophilizing agents. Their wetting was characterized by contact angle measurement and splashing behaviour was observed with a high-speed video camera. Hydrophobic and superhydrophilic surfaces generally showed fewer tendencies to splash than hydrophobic ones. Structuring amplified the underlying behaviour of the surface chemistries, increasing hydrophobic surfaces’ tendency to splash and decreasing splash on hydrophilic surfaces by quickly transporting water off the impact point by capillary forces. The non-porous surface structures found in C. zebrina could easily be applied to technical products such as plastic foils or mats and coated with hydrophilizing agents to suppress splash in areas of increased hygiene requirements or wherever pooling of liquids is not desirable.
This article is part of the themed issue ‘Bioinspired hierarchically structured surfaces for green science’.
One contribution of 12 to a theme issue ‘Bioinspired hierarchically structured surfaces for green science’.
- Accepted April 28, 2016.
- © 2016 The Author(s)
Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.