When liquid comes in contact with this surface, it quickly sticks and spreads due to capillary forces, making it harder for the surface to dry out even as it’s boiling. When air bubbles do form on the surface, they also tend to leave faster, for a much greater heating efficiency.
In the team’s preliminary results, applying the metallic grass coating to the boiling surface showed a 240 percent increase in critical heat flux, meaning that much more heat can be transferred from the heat source to the liquid before bubbles start sticking to the boiling surface.
The truck was created through a collaboration between Daimler-owned companies Freightliner, Detroit Engines, Mercedes-Benz and Fuso.
Much of its increased efficiency is due to better aerodynamics. This was achieved partly through a very streamlined tractor that includes features such as adjustable ride height, rear wheel fairings, articulated side extenders that bridge the gap between tractor and trailer, and ventilation slats in the grille that close when the vehicle is traveling at highway speeds.
That streamlining proceeds back to the trailer, where side skirts channel air past the wheels and away from the underside, while rear fins keep turbulence from building up in the space behind the trailer. As a result, the SuperTruck is a claimed 54 percent more aerodynamic than the baseline truck.