Frost-resistant material keeps surfaces 90% clean without chemicals



Ice on windshields and aircraft wings can be a thing of the past thanks to an invention that repels ice without heat or chemicals.

By constructing a pattern of small grooves in the surface to be protected, surface ice is reduced by 90 percent.

Building ice on windscreens in winter is a major source of nuisance for drivers – and a potential source of danger.

Whether the car drivers scrape it away, pour boiling water on it or blow it up with chemicals, it is a chore for most people.

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Ice on windshields and aircraft wings can be a thing of the past thanks to an invention that repels ice without heat or chemicals (stock image)

Ice on windshields and aircraft wings can be a thing of the past thanks to an invention that repels ice without heat or chemicals (stock image)

Ice on windshields and aircraft wings can be a thing of the past thanks to an invention that repels ice without heat or chemicals (stock image)

CHEMICAL FREE ANTI-FREEZE

Virginia Tech experts built a pattern of small grooves in the surface to be protected, reducing surface ice by 90 percent.

The surface is made with the aid of aluminum. A microscopic series of raised grooves on the surface creates small strips where small strips of ice form.

This & # 39; sacrificing & # 39; ice creates low pressure in the surrounding grooves and draws moisture from the air onto the ice stripe, leaving overlapping areas frost-free even in humid, sub-freezing conditions.

These sacrificial ice strips form only 10 percent of the surface of the material, leaving the remaining 90 percent completely dry.

Antifreeze chemicals are often toxic – and a danger to the environment in waterways.

And at airports, huge amounts of chemicals are used to keep wings free of ice, which can prevent aircraft from taking off.

Thousands of gallons of antifreeze can be sprayed into an airplane to remove an ice wing.

The new discovery by Virginia Tech scientists in the US is an anti-ice surface that remains free of ice for 90 percent without chemicals or heating.

The research shows how a passive ice surface can work – and keep surfaces almost completely free of frost without energy or chemicals.

Farzad Ahmadi, a doctoral student at the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics at Virginia Tech, said: "Frosting is a big problem and researchers have been trying to solve this problem for years

By building a pattern of small grooves in the surface to be protected (shown), surface ice is reduced by 90 percent

By building a pattern of small grooves in the surface to be protected (shown), surface ice is reduced by 90 percent

By building a pattern of small grooves in the surface to be protected (shown), surface ice is reduced by 90 percent

Traditional approaches to frost are based on the use of antifreeze chemicals or energy inputs, such as heat.

Even the age-old method of putting salt on roads is essentially a chemical treatment.

Other recent developments are special coatings for surfaces that prevent frost formation, but these coatings are not durable and tend to wear easily.

Ahmadi said: & # 39; For this project we do not use any special coating, chemicals or energy to overcome frost.

& # 39; Instead, we use the unique chemistry of ice cream itself to prevent the formation of frost. & # 39;

Building ice on windscreens in winter is a major source of nuisance for drivers and a potential source of danger (stock image)

Building ice on windscreens in winter is a major source of nuisance for drivers and a potential source of danger (stock image)

Building ice on windscreens in winter is a major source of nuisance for drivers – and a potential source of danger (stock image)

The surface is made with the aid of aluminum. A microscopic series of raised grooves on the surface creates small strips where small strips of ice form.

This & # 39; sacrificing & # 39; ice creates low pressure in the surrounding grooves and draws moisture from the air onto the ice stripe, leaving overlapping areas frost-free even in humid, sub-freezing conditions.

These sacrificial ice strips form only 10 percent of the surface of the material, leaving the remaining 90 percent completely dry.

Professor Jonathan Boreyko said: "The real strength of this concept is that the ice stripes themselves are the chemistry, which means that the material we use is irrelevant.

& # 39; As long as you have that right pattern of sacrificial ice, the material you use can be pretty much anything. So there are many possibilities. & # 39;

The researchers say that candidates for the surface are aircraft wings and car-car windows will also be applications for the patented anti-frosting technology.

The full findings were published in the ACS journal Applied Materials & Interfaces.


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