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Research progress of ice repellent coatings

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Under cold conditions, ice can accumulate on the surface of instruments and equipment, such as cables, aircraft wings, electric windmills, surface vessels, gates, etc., posing a serious threat to the normal operation of these equipment. Therefore, it is necessary to adopt various effective methods for de icing. At present, de icing methods can be divided into two categories: (1) active methods, namely heating, electrolysis, mechanical action, and spraying de icing agents; (2) Passive method, which involves applying a protective coating. Among them, the active method has been widely used, but it consumes high energy and is complex to operate. The passive method mainly utilizes the hydrophobicity of the coating to reduce the aggregation and adhesion strength of ice on the surface. Although there are very few industrial applications, the cost is low, there is no energy consumption, and there is no serious environmental pollution caused by deicing agents. The development and application prospects are very broad. Especially in recent years, with the emergence of superhydrophobic coating technology, the research on ice repellent coatings has received increasing attention. This article reviews the research status of hydrophobic ice repellent coatings, providing reference for further research.

The wetting of solids by water is a common interface phenomenon. Generally speaking, the wettability of water to solids is determined by the contact angle( θ) To represent, θ A surface that exceeds 90 degrees is called a hydrophobic surface, θ A surface that exceeds 150 ° is called a superhydrophobic surface (such as a lotus surface). Superhydrophobic surfaces have the characteristics of waterproofing, anti ice and snow, anti fog, corrosion resistance, oxidation resistance, pollution prevention, anti adhesion and self-cleaning, as well as preventing current conduction. They have been widely used in various fields such as scientific research, production, and daily life.

Generally speaking, the lower the surface energy, the better the hydrophobicity and the lower the adhesion strength to ice. A fluorine containing hydrophobic coating with dispersed PTFE particles was prepared on the surface of stainless steel θ At 150 °, it was found that the ice bonding strength is directly proportional to the surface energy of the hydrophobic coating. The adhesion of ice on the surfaces of copper, glass, and polyvinyl chloride was studied. The results showed that at the macro scale, the adhesion strength of ice is directly proportional to the surface energy; At the nanoscale, the adhesive strength of ice is also determined by surface energy. However, the peeling process of ice from a solid surface is not determined by the macroscopic average surface characteristics of the solid, but by the nanoscale surface characteristics, and the concentration of hydrophilic and lipophilic groups on the solid surface, as well as pollutants, have a significant impact on the adhesive strength of ice. They also found that the surface can be influenced by intermolecular forces, including those near the surface and those deeper from the surface.

Surface roughness is an important factor determining the strength of ice bonding. For hydrophilic surfaces, the greater the surface roughness, the greater the ice bonding strength; For hydrophobic surfaces, the greater the surface roughness, the smaller the ice bonding strength. A study was conducted on the ice adhesion strength of 11 aluminum surface coatings (including hydrophobic coatings) that have been applied. It was found that the ice adhesion strength does not depend on hydrophobicity, but increases with the increase of coating surface roughness. Additionally, a weak interface layer is formed between ice and the surface due to chemical bonding, and its strength is greater than the cohesive energy of ice. Several hydrophobic layers with different surface roughness were prepared using the same chemical composition. It was found that on superhydrophobic surfaces, the ice bonding strength is related to surface roughness. 

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