Design and development of anti-icing textile surfaces
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An anti-icing material can be created by mimicking one of nature’s best known performances superhydrophobicity that is observed at many plant leaves. The anti-icing properties of a superhydrophobic surface depend on the surface morphology as well as the surface tension of the substrate. This implies that both the chemistry and the topography of the anti-icing coating material are important. Therefore, the relationship between the anti-icing properties and the morphology of a superhydrophobic surface should be understood and the study has to be extended beyond the bio-inspired superhydrophobic properties of the materials to similar properties toward ice. In this research, fluorosilane-treated superhydrophobic textile nonwoven fabric is prepared via wet-processing, and the anti-icing properties of the surface are observed and compared to those of three controls: an untreated fabric, a fluorosilane-treated smooth surface, and an untreated film. In order to evaluate anti-icing properties of superhydrophobic surfaces, super-cooled water was dropped on the surface of the prepared superhydrophobic fabric and all three controls. In addition, water drops were deposited on a superhydrophobic surface and the controls, and then the samples along with water drops were placed in a freezer to make the water drops completely freeze. After the samples were removed from the freezer, they were placed on a plate inclined at 45° to compare the ice removal process of the superhydrophobic surface with those of the controls. It was found that a superhydrophobic surface, which was created by combining low surface energy and micro/nano rough structures, could provide anti-icing properties to the surface.
KeywordsContact Angle Water Contact Angle Water Drop Superhydrophobic Surface Nonwoven Fabric
This material was partially sponsored by the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL, contract number FA8650-07-1-5903) and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency—Joint Science and Technology Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (DTRA–JSTO, grant number HDTRA1-08-1-0049). The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Governmental purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation thereon. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Mr. Stephen Szczesuil in the US Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center for providing various hydro-entangled nonwoven materials to support my research. Last but not least, I want to thank Dr. Jeffery Owens in AFRL, who introduced me to a whole new world of military textiles and inspired me by sharing his knowledge and experience.