Durability enhancement of low ice adhesion polymeric coatings
Researchers have developed and investigated polyurethane-based nanocomposite and fibre-reinforced coatings to understand the deteriorating behaviour of the coatings under rigorous impinging erosion tests.
Icephobic performance of low-ice adhesion polymeric coatings has been studied intensively for passive ice protection. However, limited efforts were conducted to identify strategies for enhancing the durability of the coatings to maintain low ice adhesion after erosion impact. Scientists now developed and investigated several polyurethane-based nanocomposite and fibre-reinforced coatings to understand the deteriorating behaviour of the coatings under rigorous impinging erosion tests and the subsequent impact on ice adhesion.
The inclusion of fillers resulted in up to 38 points increase in Shore hardness relative to the pristine PU coatings. The ice adhesion strengths on 3 wt% nanoparticle-reinforced coatings after the erosion tests were nearly halved, whereas, a 5-fold reduction was observed on 3 wt% fibre-reinforced coatings compared to that of the pure PU coatings. The results indicated that the incorporation of fillers was effective in reducing the ice anchoring points, and that, after the impingement, the icephobic performance was retained by either lowering surface roughness or by minimising surface deterioration.
Fibres led to enhanced durability
Fibres took a more effective role in limiting crack initiation and resisting crack propagation. The ice adhesion strength of the coatings increased from 5.6 kPa to 8.4 kPa with 20 wt% carbon fibres incorporated PU coatings, essentially keeping the adhesion below 10 kPa even after rigorous impinging tests and a ∼10-fold reduction in ice adhesion strength as compared to the pure PU coatings. The incorporation of the fibres led to enhanced durability and retention of excellent icephobic performance via a mechanism that is adaptable to other polymeric coatings.