Thursday , July 29 2021

Researchers create a spray-ray coating that allows large structures to throw ice effortlessly

Researchers sprayed on the ice coating they developed on different materials to test it. On every covered surface the ice fell immediately due to its own weight. ( Michigan Engineering YouTube )

Ice accumulation is usually a major problem in large structures such as buildings, airplanes and ships. Researchers have already developed a spray-coating that causes dropping ice, even with only a breeze.

Ice accumulation

Accumulation of snow and ice can lead to roof collapses, while the accumulation of windows and walls can cause damage to the water. Such accumulation of ice on large surfaces is not only problematic but also dangerous, especially in structures such as airplane wing or tall buildings.

Previous ice-repellent coatings repel the ice, but the problem is that they do not repel ice on large surfaces as efficiently as they do on smaller surfaces. Unfortunately, it is these structures with larger surfaces that have to repel most of the ice.

Spray-coating, covering ice

Apparently, previous studies focused primarily on reducing the adhesion force of ice on the surface, which meant that they focused on the force required to remove the ice from the surface. But this meant that with the increase of the surfaces, the force needed to tear the ice out of the surface should also be stronger. So the sprays eventually became ineffective after the surface was too large.

Now researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a spray that can repel the ice even on large surfaces. In fact, it is so effective that the ice will fall out of the structure by just a light breeze or its own weight.


In developing the new ice-resistance spray, the researchers focused on low interfacial strength (LIT). So instead of focusing on breaking the adhesion of the ice as the ice cover had to break in general, the focus was on encouraging the formation of cracks between the surface and the ice. Once the cracks begin to form, it can quickly spread across the sheet and eventually lead the entire sheet to a drop, no matter how large it is.

The team tested the coat on several surfaces and each time the ice fell immediately. On the control surfaces, one of which is not sprayed with any coating, while the other is sprayed with an earlier spray, the ice crashes quickly.

Now the team works to improve the spray endurance.

The study was published in science,

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