Despite living in the most tough and snowy places in Antarctica, the penguins, especially Humboldt feathers always stay clean and ice free. The Humboldt penguin species found in South America, mostly in western coastal areas. There they swim in the cold water with the higher freezing point, but the feather remains immune from the ice. Researchers have pointed out that the water repellant of the feathers was the core thing, but another research showed ice can hold more water repellent of surfaces on higher humid and extensively lower temperature.
So the questions is how their feathers don’t stick on the ice? It has been a big puzzle till now. But this puzzle was cracked by the Jingming Wang and his colleagues are going to show the world. The research team took a major look through a scanning electron microscope towards the Humboldt feathers. As per the report, it reveals that the puzzle’s answer is within the microstructure of the feather itself. A network of barbs, tiny interlocking hooks and wrinkled barbules are comprised with the feather. In addition to being hydrophobic, this hierarchical architecture with grooved structures is anti-adhesive. Testing showed ice wouldn’t stick to it.
As per the microstructure of the feather, the researchers created an ice phobic Polyimide fiber membrane. The research team stated, it could potentially be used in applications such as electrical insulation. This kind of research is going to take another level for the scientists to build futuristic materials and for that they must thank to Humboldt.