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Santa Clarita Outdoor Report, Best Of: Collecting Dust

Santa Clarita Outdoor Report, Best Of: Collecting Dust

Thanksgiving is in two weeks…but for many people… the preparation has already begun. Inviting family & friends, menu planning, grocery shopping, cooking and CLEANING.  At our house, it’s time to do a bit of dusting.  It’s amazing how quickly dust can collect on the furniture.

That’s also true for the dust that collects on other living things. Take butterflies, for example.A Giant Blue Morpho butterfly

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According to Dr. Bharat Bhushan, a professor of mechanical engineering at Ohio State, when dirt collects on a butterfly’s wings, it causes two problems:

(1) “Their wings are so delicate that getting dirt or moisture on them makes it hard to fly,”

(2) “Plus, males and females recognize each other by the color and patterns on their wings, and every species is unique. So they have to keep their wings bright and visible in order to reproduce.”

A Giant Blue Morpho butterflyUsing an electron microscope and other equipment, Dr. Bhushan and graduate student Gregory Bixler studied the surface structure of a Giant Blue Morpho (Morpho didius) butterfly wing.  The closer they looked, the more they found.  It turns out the surface is not smooth; rather, “the surface texture resembles a clapboard roof with rows of overlapping shingles…” As Dr. Bhushan described it, “water and dirt roll off the wings ‘like water off a roof,’.”

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Next, these researchers created plastic models of the wing structure and measured both “fluid flow” (as measured by water pressure drop through a pipe) and “cleanability” (as measured by the amount of dirt-like silicon carbide particles collected after washing a flat, tilted surface).  Compared to a pipe with a smooth surface, the fluid flow through a wing-like surface improved 15%.Electron microscope image reveals the texture on the micrometer scale

As for “cleanability”, 70% of the particles were collect from a smooth surface, compared with 85% from the wing-like surface.

Now, if there were only some way of making our furniture 15% easier to dust.

Source: Santa Clarita News

Santa Clarita Outdoor Report, Best Of: Collecting Dust

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