Today’s Solutions: May 25, 2024

The efforst by Wilhelm Barthlott

Tijn Touber | November 2004 issue
The leaves of the Lotus plant have inspired a new type of house paint, which is manufactured in Germany by the Ispo company. It took four years of intensive research, but Ispo was ultimately successful in adding a microstructure layer to their Lotusan paint that strongly resembles that of a lotus leaf: extremely rough, but with a fine structure that barely allows dust and dirt particles to stick to the surface. One rain shower washes it all away, which means the buildings are “self-cleaning”. An added benefit is that the buildings don’t stay wet long, which means they are less likely to become breeding ground for microorganisms and fungus that can do serious damage.
The inventor of lotus effect paint is botany professor, Dr. Wilhelm Barthlott of Bonn University in Germany. Until Barthlott’s research the prevailing wisdom about how to keep buildings clean was just the opposite: extremely smooth surfaces. – TT

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