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I wonder if this has applications in the food market. Could you make metal cans/bottles that wouldn't hold their contents? (e.g. a ketchup bottle that poured out the last drop) Would the uneven surface provide a haven for bacteria?



If you want simple hydrophobic properties, just use PTFE coating. It has its limitations but you don't have to wait for commercialization as the tech is pretty mature.


I wonder if PTFE coatings would serve as an effective bottom coat, I've never heard of it being used on sailboats but it seems like an obvious avenue to explore.

The tech. described in TFA sounds like something that would make for an awful bottom coat, since such surfaces tend to promote growth by providing something attachable.


There is also the liquiGlide developed from MIT research https://www.wired.com/2015/07/physics-behind-no-stick-ketchu...


It sounds incredibly toxic, though - Polytetrafluoroethylene.

Would be nicer to just point lasers and the existing cans or glass bottles and be done with it.


If you call it Teflon, would you be less scared of the name?


No. Teflon manufacture has led to long-term contamination of waterways, plus illness caused be workers exposure ("teflon flu").

So I would prefer nanoengineering to manipulate surface tension.


> So I would prefer nanoengineering to manipulate surface tension.

Nanotoxicity is a very poorly understood field and any nanomaterials are at the very least likely to flake away bits that are similar to asbestos.


The hydrophobic properties of the OP are from a cushion of air. So whatever you're keeping in the bottle shouldn't degrade when exposed to oxygen for that to work.


There's no reason why it'd have to be in air for it to work. Food is regularly packaged with nitrogen or argon to keep it fresh. Google "modified atmosphere packaging" for more.


Is the surface tension of water different when in the presence of different gases?


Does it sound incredibly toxic when spelled 'teflon'? It's pretty good on the food-safety front.



So there are two main issues.

One is only relevant at hundreds of degrees, so it's a pan problem and not a can/bottle problem.

The other is a separate chemical that's sometimes used in the production, and the solution is simply to not use that chemical.

So not perfect, but pretty good!


> and the solution is simply to not use that chemical

If it were that simple then they would already not be using it


> If it were that simple then they would already not be using it

Yeah, did you read the link? "several manufacturers have entirely discontinued its use"

But also your statement isn't really true as a general rule. Sometimes it's very straightforward to avoid an ingredient but it costs half a penny extra.


I hope you use carbon neutral energy for those lasers.




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