Nature seems to have a solution for everything. Mimicking structures in nature via sophisticated nanotexturing technologies can provide solution to many engineering challenges such as friction and wear reduction in moving machinery.
In this ongoing research in collaboration with FORTH (Prof. Stratakis), hierarchical nano-patterns on the surface of aluminium alloy samples that replicate the skin of the shark (sharks are well known for its frictionless motion) were generated using laser ablation techniques. Preliminary tribological results have shown that these samples under lubricated conditions have the tendency to reduce the friction coefficient by 15-20% and further supress the wear rates. Results are promising and can open novel avenues to many industries such as automotive where friction losses and wear damage is of number one priority.