Terminal velocity and drag reduction measurements on superhydrophobic spheres

Glen McHale, Neil Shirtcliffe, Carl Evans, Michael Newton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)


Super water-repellent surfaces occur naturally on plants and aquatic insects and are created in the laboratory by combining micro- or nanoscale surface topographic features with hydrophobic surface chemistry. When such types of water-repellent surfaces are submerged they can retain a film of air (a plastron). In this work, we report measurements of the terminal velocity of solid acrylic spheres with various surface treatments settling under the action of gravity in water. We observed increases in terminal velocity corresponding to drag reduction of between 5% and 15% for superhydrophobic surfaces that carry plastrons.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)064104
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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