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Enhancement of Dropwise Condensation Heat Transfer through a Sprayable Superhydrophobic Coating

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posted on 2023-06-02, 16:11 authored by Behzad Rezaee, Mahmoud Mahlouji Taheri, Hossein Pakzad, Mohammadali Fakhri, Ali Moosavi, Masoud Aryanpour
Improving the shedding rate of condensed droplets has many applications in industries and daily problems, including increasing heat transfer and self-cleaning properties. One way to achieve this goal is by enhancement of the wetting properties of surfaces. In this research, the hierarchical superhydrophobic coating over aluminum has been applied using a relatively cost-effective method, spraying, which is also applicable to any metal surface used as a condenser. According to the results obtained from the experimental tests, the fabricated surface is highly superhydrophobic, with a contact angle of 158° and contact angle hysteresis of less than 5°. The results show that the presented surface increases the heat transfer coefficient by 20.6% at the subcooling temperature of 25.5 °C when the surface temperature and relative humidity are 70 °C and 98%, respectively. In addition, this coated surface showed great potential at lower surface temperatures by increasing the water condensation rate as much as 50.5% at the subcooling temperature of 12 °C, when the surface temperature and relative humidity are 11.25 °C and 70%, respectively. Therefore, it is found that for the fabricated superhydrophobic paint in the present study, the effectiveness of the dropwise condensation mode profoundly depends on surface temperatures besides subcooling temperatures. In other words, a surface with lower temperatures shows better performance for the same subcooling temperatures. In addition, various types of durability tests are carried out. The results reveal that this coating has good durability against high surface temperatures, submerged conditions for 30 days, imposing hot steam for 150 h, corrosion, and organic solvents. Hence, it is suitable for industrial applications.