"The coating is a mixture of rubbery plastic particles of 'polydimethylsiloxane', or PDMS, and liquid-resisting nanoscale cubes developed by the Air Force that contain carbon, fluorine, silicon and oxygen.
The key to its effectiveness is its texture.
It hugs the pore structure of whatever surface it's being applied to, and it also creates a finer web within those pores.
This structure means that between 95 and 99 percent of the coating is actually air pockets, so any liquid that comes in contact with the coating is barely touching a solid surface.
Because the liquid touches mere filaments of the solid surface, as opposed to a greater area, the developed coating can dramatically reduce the intermolecular forces that normally draw the two states of matter together.
These forces, known as Van der Waals interaction forces, are kept at a minimum.
With almost no incentive to spread, the droplets stay intact, interacting only with molecules of themselves, maintaining a spherical shape, and literally bouncing off the coating."
Sounds delicate. Imagine nudging debris aside in the water, creating a cavity in the structure of the fabric, and vortices further enlarging the cavity. Now, if you could incorporate nanobots into the fabric that would react to and repair structural damage as it occurs, then you'll be onto something.
Then again, by the time they figure that one out, somebody else will figure out how to make actual fish slime grow on boat hulls...
"The most interesting path between two points is not a straight line" Murray Minchin