Effect of superhydrophobic nanocomposite surface roughness on anti-icing performance

A. Davis, Y.H. Yeong, A. Steele, E. Loth, I.S. Bayer
University of Virginia, US

Keywords: superhydrophobic, roughness, anti-icing

Summary:

While past work has shown the ice-phobic potential of a superhydrophobic surface or noted the effect of surface area on ice adhesion to an array of microposts, questions still remain on the effect of a superhydrophobic nanocomposite’s surface roughness on ice accretion or adhesion. In this study, we demonstrate a method to reduce the surface roughness of a spray casted superhydrophobic coating as well as an experiment to quantitatively determine the strength of ice adhesion to the coating. The ice adhesion test will involve placing a test piece coated with the nancomposite coating in a walk-in freezer where an air assist nozzle will deliver a spray consisting of 20µm supercooled liquid droplets on the superhydrophobic surface to create a layer of ice. Pressurized air will be then be delivered from a gas tank and through the center of the aluminum test piece to remove the accreted ice from the superhydrophobic surface. The strength of ice adhesion can be determined by the energy required to fracture the ice from the surface. The final paper will include fracture energy data from superhydrophobic surfaces at various roughnesses.