From: University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Published October 18, 2017 10:57 AM

Nice Ice, Maybe? Husker Research Finds Ice Removal Can Be a Breeze

Water-repellent surfaces and coatings could make ice removal a literal breeze by forcing ice to grow up rather than just skate by, says a new study from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and several Chinese institutions.

The researchers discovered that ice grows differently on absorbent vs. water-repellent surfaces, demonstrating that a gust of air can blow away ice that forms on the latter. Their findings suggest that applying water-repellent coatings to windshields before winter storms – or engineering surfaces that inherently repel water – could enable a strong breeze to handle the burden of ice removal.

Experiments and simulations showed that a water droplet on a repellent surface will freeze upward into a microscopic six-armed formation that resembles an idealized snowflake, with only a small portion of its base adhering to the surface. This makes sense given that water droplets bead up rather than spread out over repellent surfaces, said Nebraska co-author Xiao Cheng Zeng.

Read more at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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