13. Description of the core message of your event and key topics to be covered (c.100 words):
The research area relates to super water repellent materials and involves a mix of physics, chemistry, materials science and engineering. The focus of the work is how liquids interact with surfaces and how naturally occurring systems provide inspiration for new materials and engineering. This area is supported by EPSRC grants.
This is an interactive exhibition designed for the general public/for all ages. Nature's Raincoats is a hands-on, investigating how nature adapts to control water repellency. The exhibit is divided into four zones:
1. Superhydrophobic plant forest.
2. Wet (but not too wet for a standard hall) hands-on area where super water-repellent plants or business cards can be placed beneath drips of water and super water-repellent magic sand can be sculpted underwater.
3. Dry area where balloons can be pushed against beds-of-nails, super-repellent stay-clean surfaces can be dipped in mud and streams of water are propelled around super-vortex surfaces.
4. Demonstration area with a stuffed duck demonstrating its feathers, water-spiders breathing underwater using plastrons and bio-inspired technological items.
A plan of the exhibit can be found at:
Nature’s Raincoats is a collaboration between three research groups at Northumbria, Nottingham Trent University and the University of Oxford.