Carbon Nanofiber Based Films for Anti-icing/Anti-frosting Applications

2016-02-25T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Shreyas Kapatral
Superhydrophobic surfaces have been increasingly researched as a solution for the icing problem. Despite promising results, superhydrophobic surfaces eventually fail under condensation and frosting. All the surfaces previously investigated relied only on their wettability properties to mitigate icing/frosting. In the present work, we study the condensation frosting and defrosting properties of carbon nanofiber-based conductive superhydrophobic coatings capable of self-heating by means of the Joule heating effect. We tune the condensate morphology by varying the filler-polymer composition to yield droplets in the Cassie state, thus influencing subsequent frost growth. We demonstrate facile and efficient defrosting by raising the temperature of the coating just above the freezing temperature by Joule heating. We focus on the synergy of passive superhydrophobic surfaces and active electrothermal heating to reduce cost, energy and time required to prevent/eliminate frosting/icing. Low cost materials and simple solvent-based deposition enhance the scalability and applicability of the present nanocomposite, offering a new mechanism to prevent icing/frosting.