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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.

  • Cool story bro.
    Reply
  • christarp
    Hope for the crabbers of deadliest catch.
    Reply
  • 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~
    Reply
  • elcentral
    extremly usefull if you clocking at cold konditions.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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....
    Reply
  • molo9000
    memadmaxThis 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.
    Aren't aircraft beginning to use composite materials instead of metal?
    Reply
  • A Bad Day
    molo9000Aren't aircraft beginning to use composite materials instead of metal?
    They're so expensive that they take a while for the older aircraft (70's and 80's) to be replaced, and it doesn't help that the airline industry is trying to delay replacements to save money.
    Reply
  • The leading edge is still a metallic Component (the substructure though can be composite), it has to withstand alot of abuse and fatigue as well as undergoing alot of repairs, servicing and replacements (which composite aren't so great at), it also only accounts for 1 tenth of the Mass of the wing and is where ice build up more frequently occurs due to direct exposure to the air stream
    Reply
  • clivene09
    memadmaxThis 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.
    Could I ask where you got the number 100 from? I ask because I remember after the challenger disaster a teacher of mine saying that they estimated 25 missions per vessel before the risk of disaster. Seems that numbers can be completely arbitrary if you ask me.
    Reply