Researchers Find Way to Keep Metal Surfaces Free of Ice

Under deep-freezing conditions the technology can prevent ice accumulation for a longer time, reducing the amount of ice and alleviating the effect of adhesion as the ice easily slides off the metal surface.

Called SLIP, short for Slippery Liquid Infused Porous Surfaces, the Harvard researchers have come up with an ice-repellent, non-toxic coating that has a defect-free, molecularly flat liquid interface and is immobilized using a hidden nano-structured solid that keeps the liquid in place. According to the scientists, the liquid can be applied to a range of different products, including airplane wings, roofing, railings, or cooling fins.

"This new approach to icephobic materials is a truly disruptive idea that offers a way to make a transformative impact on energy and safety costs associated with ice, and we are actively working with the refrigeration and aviation industries to bring it to market," said Joanna Aizenberg, professor of materials science at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

The icephobic coating is believed to be extremely effective especially in environments with substantial humidity. On airplane wings or roofs, ice buildup that could occur under extreme conditions could simply slide off by tilting a structure or via "slight agitation," vibration or wind.

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  • memadmax
    This is a boon for aircraft.
    First the obvious safety that comes from this: Ice can form at high elevations, northern areas etc etc resulting in the risk of crashes.
    Second the not so obvious. This will mean that aircraft will no longer need to carry heaters on the wings or not as many heaters. Resulting in a lighter aircraft that requires less fuel or can carry more people/cargo or both.
    This can also mean that the engines of aircraft will not need heaters as well, resulting in lighter engines/more efficient engines.
    18
  • memadmax
    Also, this could have been used on the tanks of the space shuttle... Preventing at least one disaster and possibly saving the shuttle program itself. After the second shuttle was lost, too many politicians got emotional about it.... *Each* space shuttle was designed to go 100 missions a piece... we did 134 missions.. total... what a waste....
    14
  • christarp
    Hope for the crabbers of deadliest catch.
    10
  • Other Comments
  • Anonymous
    Cool story bro.
    -20
  • christarp
    Hope for the crabbers of deadliest catch.
    10
  • KelvinTy
    Welcome to the new Rapture! Where leaks and deep sea temperatures are no-longer fatal!
    Buy it now! Just with 40 adams and you get yourself a bargin~
    -14