For polar regions: Robust anti-icing surface

A new project presents a robust and reusable lubricant-infused surface with anticorrosion and anti-icing properties.

When ice class vessels or ships sail into an ice region, the ship deck, seawater suction port, deck pipe system, ventilation opening, hydraulic system, and other important components are vulnerable to ice, especially sea spray icing. Image source: Cristian Manieri - Pixabay (symbol image).

With increasing exploration of the polar regions, ice class ships face more challenges, and anti-icing–deicing and anticorrosion have become important factors for adding value. Lubricant-infused surfaces (LIS) have received significant attention due to their combination of anticorrosion and anti-icing performance, but their microstructure has lacked robustness. During a new project, a robust and reusable LIS was obtained, based on microstructured epoxy resin with surface modification and infused with lubricant. The freezing time of water droplets on different surfaces was evaluated, and the LIS showed a freezing time of longer than 20 min. The LIS exhibited ice adhesion strength of <10 kPa. After 20 icing–deicing cycles, the mesh-like microstructure remained intact; when re-infused with lubricant, the anti-icing performance was as good as the original, suggesting the reusability of LIS.

Robustness and durability

The corrosion resistance performance was characterised by electrochemical measurements. As the researchers point oit, LIS based on this microstructured epoxy resin has shown robustness and durability, and has excellent potential for applications in ice class ships.

The study has been published in Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 183, October 2023.

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