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Nanoengineering Surfaces for Anti-Icing

Grizen, Michael; (2020) Nanoengineering Surfaces for Anti-Icing. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

Unwanted ice formation on surfaces is commonplace in technology, causing economic loss and may lead to catastrophic events. One of the methods to suppress ice formation relies on rationally designed superhydrophobic surfaces. To date, the best performing design of superhydrophobic surfaces, inspired by the natural hierarchical morphology of lotus leaves, requires a combination of micro- and nano-texture and low energy surface chemistry. Such hierarchical superhydrophobic surfaces have not only presented exceptional hydrophobic abilities but also the ability to battle ice formation in terms of reduction of ice adhesion strength and delaying ice formation. The hydrophobic and icephobic capabilities of the surfaces can be further augmented, for instance by choosing surface materials with certain mechanical and thermal properties. As a result, considerable effort has been put into developing texturing methods on various materials, in particular on metallic surfaces. In this study, aluminium has been chosen as the working material. Then, by employing a combination of sustainable and scalable processes, aluminium surfaces were textured with micro- and nano-features. Afterwards, the textured surfaces were functionalized with low surface free energy molecules. Conventionally, despite being harmful, the functionalization is performed with fluorinated molecules because of their superior properties. Therefore, with sustainability in mind, in this work, the functionalization was performed with fluorine-free molecules. However, in addition to the conventional molecules, the study shows how the stiffness of the molecule chains can be altered and how the molecules can be applied on textured aluminium surfaces. Thereafter, the hydrophobic and icephobic performance of the environmentally friendly surfaces functionalized with flexible and stiff molecules is thoroughly examined and compared to similar textured surfaces functionalized with conventional fluorinated molecules. The outcomes show that in many cases, the performance of the surfaces functionalized with non-fluorinated and fluorinated molecules is comparable.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Nanoengineering Surfaces for Anti-Icing
Event: UCL
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2020. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Mechanical Engineering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10111966
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