The development of innovative materials is one of the most important focus areas in heritage conservation research. Eligible materials can not only protect the physical and chemical integrity of artworks but also preserve their artistic and aesthetic features. Recently, as one of the hot research topics in materials science, biomimetic superhydrophobic materials have gradually attracted the attention of conservation scientists due to their unique properties. In fact, ultra-repellent materials are particularly suitable for hydrophobization treatments on outdoor artworks. Owing to their excellent hydrophobicity, superhydrophobic materials can effectively prevent the absorption and penetration of liquid water as well as the condensation of water vapor, thus greatly relieving water-induced decay phenomena. Moreover, in the presence of liquid water, the superhydrophobic surfaces equipped with a self-cleaning property can clean the dirt and dust deposited spontaneously, thereby restoring the artistic features simultaneously. In the present paper, besides the basic principles of wetting on solid surfaces, materials, and methods reported for preparing bioinspired ultra-repellent materials, the recently proposed materials for art conservation are also introduced and critically reviewed, along with a discussion on the droplet impact and durability of the artificial superhydrophobic surfaces. Lastly, the current status and the problems encountered in practical application are also pointed out, and the focus of future research is presented as well.
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