Phase Change Fluid Coating Handles Any Ice

In cold climates, ice poses many challenges for road and air transport. In these cold countries, many de-icing techniques are used. Among them are special materials that can store solar heat, electric heating of runways at airports and carbon nanotubes in the coating of aircraft wings. But, perhaps, the simplest and most common method is the treatment of the roadway and sidewalks with salt.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) have developed a new effective deicing material made from phase change fluids (PSL) that use heat to prevent ice formation. They act by capturing the heat emanating from the water droplets themselves. Typically, these materials have a higher melting point than ice, so they remain solid at the temperature at which it begins to melt.

During experiments with PSL, it was noticed that water droplets seem to "dance" on their surface after condensation. The reason for this effect is the release of heat into the materials by water, as a result of which they heat up and melt, which repels the water back. In particular, some experiments were carried out at a temperature of -15 ° C.

Because of these low temperatures, scientists believe PSL can keep surfaces from ice up to 300 times longer than other anti-icing coatings, even when applied as a thin film. These substances have several more additional properties - they can be transparent, are able to self-repair and prevent the adhesion of pollutants.