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Sushant Anand reports about impure ice and sublimating dry ice

23.05.2024 14:04

A new paper by Branco Weiss Alumnus Sushant Anand and his research team published in the journal Materials Horizons shows new ways of decreasing the adhesion of ice to surfaces.

The buildup of ice on a surface can be dangerous, it can compromise the operational safety of ships in the Arctic to high-flying airplanes. The obstinately strong adhesion between ice and most functional surfaces makes ice removal an energetically expensive and dangerous affair. Hence, over the past few decades, substantial efforts have been directed toward the development of passive ice-shedding surfaces – usually based on ice solidified from pure water. However, in all practical situations, freezing water has dissolved contaminants.

In their paper, Dr. Anand and his team cast light on the fundamental role played by various impurities (salt, surfactant, and solvent) commonly found in natural water bodies on the adhesion of ice on common structural materials. They found that while water freezes, even tiny amounts of a contaminant dramatically decrease the adhesion. And while all of the tested contaminants worked, salt and alcohol showed the best results.

This research provides useful insights into the elementary nature of impure water-to-ice transformation. The results may contribute to the development of a broad spectrum of new anti-icing technologies for transportation, infrastructure, and energy systems.

In another study, published in Physical Review Fluids, Dr. Anand’s team investigates fragmentation and rebound of impacting drops.

In their paper, the researchers report on the role played by solidification within drops in modifying the outcomes of their impact on the supercooled ultralow adhesive surface of sublimating dry ice – whether they rebound or fragment into a trail of smaller droplets. The findings imply that sublimating supercooled surfaces can present a broad spectrum of outcomes from complete bouncing to no rebound, which is not seen in drop impacts on supercooled superhydrophobic surfaces.

Read the paper in Materials Horizons

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Read the paper in Physical Review Fluids