• 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 16

11:09 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from Asia to North Europe
10:52 Port of HaminaKotka throughput in Jan-Nov’2019 grew by 11% Y-o-Y to 16.53 million tonnes
10:31 Bunker sales at the port of Singapore in Jan-Nov’2019 fell by 5.5% Y-o-Y to 43 million tonnes
10:10 Port of Singapore throughput in Jan-Nov’2019 declined by 0.5% to 572.73 million tonnes
10:09 Keppel delivers another jackup rig to Grupo R with sale and leaseback deal
09:47 Brent Crude futures price is down 0.35% to $64.98, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.38% to $59.75
09:29 Baltic Dry Index is down to 1,355 points
09:18 CMA CGM announces partnership with Shell to supply marine biofuel to its fleet

2019 December 15

16:41 Coast Guard reopens La Quinta Channel near Ingleside, Texas
15:22 Total moves forward on two deepwater projects in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico
14:05 SAL Heavy Lift becomes world’s first to equip vessels with new hydrogen / methanol injection technology
13:16 Nauticor’s "Kairos" received the first LNG bunker license in the Port of Rostock Hamburg
12:01 USCG begins ice breaking operations in western Great Lakes
11:48 Iridium continues GMDSS readiness with announcement of launch partners
10:41 Farid Salem honored by the Lloyd’s List Lifetime Achievement Award

2019 December 14

15:48 USCG returns majority of New York Waterway ferries to service
14:31 SK Telecom and SHI successfully verified 5G-powered autonomous and remote control navigation test platform using a test ship
13:19 Mitsubishi Corporation participates in FPSO project in Brazil
11:54 SEA\LNG's study underlines LNG as a compelling investment solution for VLCCs on the Arabian Gulf to China trade route
10:46 GTT Training receives the ‘LNG World Shipping Safety Award 2019’
08:55 Draft strategy for development of Russia’s Arctic through 2035 to be presented to Vladimir Putin by year end

2019 December 13

18:17 New ecological equipment enters berths of Multipurpose Reloading Complex in Ust-Luga
17:22 Total's Mozambique LNG Project gets $400 mln loan from African Development Bank
17:03 Port of Los Angeles and Indonesia Port Corporation sign cooperative agreement
16:33 ABB wins contract to power Genting’s next-generation cruise vessels
16:12 ABB completes delivery for the world's most advanced icebreaking LNG carrier fleet
16:03 Windermere Lake Cruises new vessel launched in Damen Technical Cooperation project
15:33 MacGregor deck handling solution supports China’s Xue Long 2 icebreaker operation
15:12 Polarcus awarded 10-month acquisition program offshore Brazil
14:32 Rotterdam Port Fund invests in Fleet Cleaner
14:11 Subsea 7 awarded contract offshore Norway
13:43 Moín Container Terminal reaches 1 million TEUs
13:31 New container terminal opens in northern Italy
13:05 Aker Solutions to provide subsea production system for phase two of Aker BP's Ærfugl
12:30 Jifmar Offshore Services acquires Delta Marine
12:04 SBM Offshore signs FPSO Sepetiba contracts
11:30 Abu Dhabi Ports announces AED 4Bn expansion projects at Khalifa Port on its 7th Anniversary
11:27 Damen signs contract with Cotecmar for DTC hydrographic research vessel
11:12 WMU and EMSA cooperate on capacity building and research
11:03 SAL Heavy Lift becomes world’s first to equip vessels with new hydrogen / methanol injection technology
10:48 Murmansk Sea Fishing Port handled 245,000 tonnes of cargo in 11M’2019, down 20.7% Y-o-Y
10:34 Overseas Shipholding Group and American Shipping Company jointly announce extension of tanker charters
10:24 WMU President reports to the IMO Assembly
09:59 Kawasaki Heavy Industries launches the world's first liquefied hydrogen carrier
09:43 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, December 13
09:29 Brent Crude futures price is up 0.65% to $64.62, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.52% to $59.49
09:13 Baltic Dry Index is down to 1,388 points

2019 December 12

18:36 EBRD finances Tekirdag port on Turkey’s Sea of Marmara
18:05 Dutch Drone Delta established with Port of Rotterdam Authority support
17:51 Port of Southampton continues infrastructure investment with £3m crane
17:30 Baltic Workboats shipyard delivers 19 WP Oilrec workboat
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