The technology behind this innovation is a thin erosion-resistant oleophobic coating for improving cleanability of finned heat exchangers without sacrificing thermal performance. The coating is significantly more oleophobic than existing erosion-resistant coatings and is able to cleanly shed drops of hydrocarbon liquid that would leave streaks even on PTFE. This technology is also significantly more erosion-resistant than existing oleophobic coatings and is able to maintain oleophobicity even after prolonged periods of aggressive abrasive sandblasting. The coating is also thinner than existing erosion-resistant coatings at less than 10 µm and presents negligible additional thermal resistance. The application process for the coating allows uniform coating thicknesses even when applied to finned heat exchangers with high aspect-ratio air channels. The coating enables substantially improved cleanability of hydrocarbon and mixed organic/inorganic sand-based fouling. Even thick paste substances lodged within high aspect ratio channels can be flushed with a low-pressure water stream without the use of solvents.
Primary Application Area: Space, Defense, Mobility
Technology Development Status: Prototype
Technology Readiness Level: TRL 4
Vetted Programs/Awards: Navy SBIR, $125k, June 2018
Organization Type: Early-stage Startup (Seed)
Showcase Booth #: 32
GOVT/EXTERNAL FUNDING SOURCES
External Funding to Date: DropWise is funded via government grants / contracts from the NSF and NAVAIR as well as investors such as Henkel AG & Co and other private investors.