"Salvinia Effect" of Salvinia natansRef: 80202291
Scanning electron micrograph of leaf detail of Salvinia natans, a floating fern type plant which has superhydrophobic trichomes or hairs on the upper side of its leaves. Each of these eggbeater shaped hairs exhibits a hydrophilic tip on the top of each hydrophobic hair. The combination of a hydrophobic surface with hydrophilic tips is called the "Salvinia Effect". These air retaining surfaces are of great interest, particularly with regards to fuel consumption when applied to ships having to overcome friction produced by the drag of water on their hulls. This drag could be reduced dramatically with the "Salvinia Effect", a layer of air between the ship's hull and the water, saving vast amounts of fuel. A suggested estimated saving of 20 million tons of oil per year for just a 10% decrease in drag for shipping alone.
Magnification: x405 (x100 at 10cm wide)