New Method Controls Whether Freezing Droplets Bounce Off Or Stick


New Method Controls Whether Freezing Droplets Bounce Off Or Stick
MIT researchers have found a surprising new twist to the mechanics involved when droplets come in contact with surfaces. Pictured here is a microscopic top view of a droplet. Credit: Varanasi Group/MIT

Summary – Scientist have discovered a self -peeling droplets along with a new way to control adhesion of freezing droplets by adjusting the thermal properties of substrates. These findings could make everything from additive manufacturing to deicing more efficient.

New Method Controls Whether Freezing Droplets Bounce Off Or Stick
MIT researchers have found a surprising new twist to the mechanics involved when droplets come in contact with surfaces. Pictured here is a microscopic top view of a droplet.
Credit: Varanasi Group/MIT

When freezing droplets impact a surface, they generally either stick to it or bounce away. Controlling this response is crucial to many applications, including 3-D printing, the spraying of some surface coating, and the prevention of ice formation on structures such as airplane wings, wind turbines, or power lines.

Now, MIT researchers have found a surprising new twist to the mechanics involved when droplets come in contact with surfaces.

On silicon, which conducts heat very well, as most metals do, “the molten metal just fell off,” Varanasi says.

But on the glass, which is a good thermal insulator, “the drops of metal stuck and were hard to remove.”

The finding showed that “we can control the adhesion of a droplet freezing on a surface by controlling the thermal properties” of that surface.

It provides new tools for us to control the outcome of such liquid-solid interactions.”

This article is published at Science website ScienceDaily.

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