How does what slips through your fingers become one of the most devastating factors in the world?
The corrosive power of water is a kind of paradox. How can something slowly slip through your fingers become one of the most devastating factors in the world? How can a raindrop so gentle that it’s stuck on the tip of your tongue can also carve out stones?
What gives this seemingly benign substance so a corrosive power?
In a paper conducted at the Twin Cities University of Minnesota in the US, considered the first of its kind, the hidden power that led to liquid droplets eroding hard surfaces appeared. Studying droplets is not new in the scientific world. Scientists have long been affected by everything related to them, from the way raindrops hit the ground to the transmission of pathogens in aerosols. So far, the work has been limited to visual analysis using high-speed cameras.
But now a newly developed technique has been unveiled that allows direct measurement of hidden factors that give droplets their amazing power. The new technique, called “high-speed stress microscopy” (high-speed stress microscopy), provides a more quantitative way to investigate the phenomenon of fluid erosion by directly measuring the force, stress and pressure beneath them when liquid droplets hit surfaces.
The researchers discovered that the force applied by a droplet, rather than concentrating in the center of the droplet, actually spreads with the drop impact, and the droplet spread speed exceeds the speed of sound in short periods of time and creates a shock wave along the surface. According to observations, each droplet acts like a small bomb, releasing the impact energy explosively and providing the necessary power to erode surfaces over time.
In addition to showing new guidance to study the effect of droplets, this research, published in Nature Communications, could help engineers design more erosion-resistant surfaces for structures used in outdoor ventilation. The University of Minnesota Twin Cities plans to expand this research to study how different tissues and materials change the amount of force generated by liquid droplets. For example, wind turbines with wings covered to protect the painted surface or surfaces of a building can cause damage by being hit by raindrops over time. According to scientists; This new research will allow us to understand whether we can reduce the amount of cutting voltage of droplets and design special surfaces that can reduce stress.