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Italian contribution to the production of "clean metal surfaces"

How University of Parma researchers are using nature to innovate

Italian contribution to the production of "clean metal surfaces"

Claudia Astarita

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The leaves of a lotus flower inspired a team of scientists from the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Parma in creating a self-cleaning, antibacterial metal surface.

The new technology is based on intricate ridges carved by lasers into the exterior of metallic plates, with the effect of repelling water and other liquids. When water drips off the surface, any dirt is washed away.

The first application of the new technology will be in the production of pans that do not need to be scoured to be cleaned. Professor Luca Romoli, who lead the project, said that the researchers' goal was understanding "how you can improve things by trying to mimic what is already available in nature".

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