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  • Writer's pictureJanet Kohlmorgen

A promising self-assembly PTFE coating for effective large-scale deicing

An electrostatic attraction self-assembly method was used successfully for the fabrication of thin PTFE coating, which could be a promising material for large-scale deicing.

Ice accretion is detrimental for the safety of transmission lines, aircraft, and buildings, which may also result in economic loss. In the study, a thin polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) coating on a aluminum substrate was fabricated by electrostatic attraction self-assembly technique and proposed for large-scale deicing application. The shear-force Fice analysis on deicing and related ice adhesion was conducted while interfacial toughness between solid-ice interfaces was also measured. Moreover, the surface morphology, wettability of the PTFE coated aluminum plate was also characterised.

Promising material for large-scale deicing

It was observed that the critical bonded length Lc between ice and PTFE coated surface is about 2.85 cm. When the bonded length L was higher than this value, the shear-force of dislodging ice could stay constant at about 50 N for the first deicing cycle. From the second deicing cycle, the constant shear-force was increased to 70 N and kept constant for at least ten cycles. Meanwhile, the surface roughness and water contact angle kept on increasing along with the loss of PTFE nanoparticles during icing-deicing cycles.

Ultimately, An ice layer with the size of 98 cm × 96 cm×1 cm (l × w × h) was developed on the surface of PTFE coated aluminum substrate for the demonstration of its fracture and falling off under ice’s weight.

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