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Anti-icing Potential of Superhydrophobic Ti6Al4V Surfaces: Ice Nucleation and Growth

Shen, Yizhou, Tao, Jie, Tao, Haijun, Chen, Shanlong, Pan, Lei, Wang, Tao
Langmuir 2015 v.31 no.39 pp. 10799-10806
adhesion, air, droplets, hydrophilicity, hydrophobicity, ice, ice nucleation, supercooling, temperature
On the basis of the icing-delay performance and ice adhesion strength, the anti-icing potential of the superhydrophobic surface has been well-investigated in the past few years. The present work mainly emphasized the investigations of ice nucleation and growth to fully explore the anti-icing potential of the superhydrophobic surface. We took the various surfaces ranging from hydrophilic to superhydrophobic as the research objects and, combining the classical nucleation theory, discussed the ice nucleation behaviors of the water droplets on these sample surfaces under the condition of supercooling. Meanwhile, the macroscopical growth processes of ice on these surfaces were analyzed on the basis of the growth mechanism of the ice nucleus. It was found that the superhydrophobic surface could greatly reduce the solid–liquid interface nucleation rate, owing to the extremely low actual solid–liquid contact area caused by the composite micro–nanoscale hierarchical structures trapping air pockets, leading to the bulk nucleation dominating the entire ice nucleation at the lower temperatures. Furthermore, ice on the superhydrophobic surface possessed a lower macroscopical growth velocity as a result of the less ice nucleation rate and the insulating action of the trapped air pockets.