Highly hydrophobic materials and surfaces are useful for a wide range of applications such as waterproof clothing, self-cleaning windows, reducing drag on watercraft, preventing ice buildup, and designing oil/water separators. However, the hydrophobicity of these materials decreases over time though surface wear, presenting a significant drawback. In this work, we demonstrate a solution to this poor durability through surfaces which are renewed with wear, continually exposing a new hydrophobic surface. Materials can be made more hydrophobic through the addition of surface texture or microstructure. Typically, as this texture is worn smooth through use and abrasion, the material steadily loses its hydrophobic property. This can be overcome by designing materials with a consistent, textured microstructure through the entire bulk, not only at the surface. This consistent morphology can be produced from interconnected microparticles. Materials produced in this way can retain a rough surface texture despite wear; as each layer is worn away, a new layer with an identical morphology is exposed and the material remains hydrophobic. The hydrophobicity of this structure is demonstrated both before and after abrasion wear. The hydrophobicity of these surfaces is compared to similar textured surfaces that lack this “renewability.”

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Hydrophobic surfaces--Abrasion resistance; Mechanical wear; Polymers--Mechanical properties

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Materials Science and Engineering (MS)


Christopher Collison

Advisor/Committee Member

Massoud Miri

Advisor/Committee Member

Michael Pierce


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes