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Frosting Behavior of Superhydrophobic Nanoarrays under Ultralow Temperature

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posted on 2017-08-22, 00:00 authored by Wenwen Zhang, Shanlin Wang, Zhen Xiao, Xinquan Yu, Caihua Liang, Youfa Zhang
Retarding and preventing frost formation at ultralow temperature has an increasing importance due to a wide range of applications of ultralow fluids in aerospace and industrial facilities. Recent efforts for developing antifrosting surfaces have been mostly devoted to utilizing lotus-leaf-inspired superhydrophobic surfaces. Whether the antifrosting performance of the superhydrophobic surface is still effective under ultralow temperature has not been elucidated clearly. Here, we investigated the frosting behavior of fabricated superhydrophobic ZnO nanoarrays under different temperature and different environment. The surface showed excellent performance in anticondensation and antifrosting when the surface temperature was approximately −20 °C. Although the frosting event inevitably occurs on all surfaces when the temperature is decreased from −50 to −150 °C, the frost accumulation on the superhydrophobic surfaces is always less than that on the untreated surfaces. Interestingly, the frost layer detaches from the surface within a short time and keeps the surface dry in the very beginning of the defrosting process. Further, there is no frost formation on the surface at −20 °C during 10 min testing when blowing compressed air and spraying methanol together or spraying methanol individually. It can reduce the height of the frost layer and increases the density when spraying methanol at −150 °C. Furthermore, the frost crystals on the top surface can been blown away due to the low adhesion of ice or frost. It provides a basic idea for solving the frosting problem under ultralow temperature while combined with other defrosting methods.

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