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The Effect of Mixed Hydrophilic and Hydrophobic Surfaces on Frost Nucleation and Growth

[+] Author Affiliations
Alexander S. Van Dyke, Amy Rachel Betz

Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

Paper No. IMECE2013-62620, pp. V08CT09A009; 8 pages
  • ASME 2013 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 8C: Heat Transfer and Thermal Engineering
  • San Diego, California, USA, November 15–21, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5636-9
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


The purpose of this research is to test hydrophilic, hydrophobic, and mixed hydrophobic and hydrophilic (biphilic) surfaces to see how theses surfaces affect frost nucleation and growth. Frost forms when humid air comes into contact with a surface that is below the dew point and freezing temperature of water. Many engineering systems are hindered by frost, such as aeronautics, refrigeration, and electrical transmission wires. Most recent research on frost formation has looked at making superhydrophobic materials, which lower the freezing point and increase the frost formation time. These materials are very dependent on operating conditions and surface roughness, which fluctuate often. A hydrophobic surface delays frost growth more than a hydrophilic surface and also creates a taller, less dense frost layer than the hydrophilic surface. Our hypothesis is that a biphilic surface will be better at slowing the frost formation process as well as creating a less dense frost layer. The water in the air will preferentially condense on the hydrophilic areas, thus controlling where the nucleation will first occur. This could help to control the size, shape, and location of the frost nucleation.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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