A team of students working with Jonathan Boreyko, associate professor in mechanical engineering, has discovered the method ducks use to suspend water in their feathers while diving, allowing them to shake it out when surfacing.
A team of students working with Jonathan Boreyko, associate professor in mechanical engineering, has discovered the method ducks use to suspend water in their feathers while diving, allowing them to shake it out when surfacing. The discovery opens the door for applications in marine technology. Findings were published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.
Boreyko has a well-established body of work in the area of fluid mechanics, including the invention of a fog harp and the use of contained, recirculated steam as a cooling device. As his research has progressed throughout the past decade, the mechanics of duck de-wetting has been one of his longest-running projects.
“I got this idea when I was at Duke University,” said Boreyko. “I had a really bad parking spot, but my walk took me right through the scenic Duke Gardens. I passed by ponds with lots of ducks, and I noticed that when a duck comes out of the water, they’d shake their feathers and water would fly off. I realized that what they were doing was a de-wetting transition, releasing water that was partially inside of their feathers. That was the germ of the idea. In my research, purely by coincidence, I was studying the same kind of thing. I realized that these transitions work only if the water isn’t allowed to get all the way to the bottom of the porous feather structure.”
Read more at Virginia Tech
Photo Credit: AlainAudet via Pixabay