Research | Biomimicry

Bird Safe Glass

It is estimated that 100 million birds die every year as a result of flying into glass, and the reason is obvious – they simply do not recognise the transparent structure as a physical barrier. To address this problem, a company developed biomimetic Ornilux Bird Safe Glass, drawing inspiration from the UV reflective strands in spider webs, which birds see and therefore avoid. This is a clear mutual benefit for both species, and so Ornilux sought to replicate this with their criss-crossing UV glass.

Lotus Inspired Hydrophobia

The lotus effect, otherwise known as superhydrophobicity, is the effect seen on the leaves of the Lotus flower, where water is not able to wet the surface and simply rolls off. This high repellence is due to the nanostructure of the plane, where micro-protrusions coated in waxy hydrophobic materials repel the water. This is also a self-cleaning mechanism as dirt particles also stick to the water molecule. Copying this process, CeNano developed nanotol – a hydrophobic (water-repelling), lipophobic (fat-repelling), and oleophobic (oil-repelling) sealant that can be sprayed to substances to create their own superhydrophobicity. The applications of these are huge, and amazingly satisfying to watch.