Novel anti-icing polyurethane methacrylate coatings

A new work focuses on the facile fabrication of high performance hydrophilic anti-icing polyurethane methacrylate coatings cured via UV irradiation.

Icing has caused serious problems and significant issues in many industrial fields, such as wind turbines, aircrafts, air conditioners and refrigerators. Image source: xmn1335 - Pixabay (symbol image).

In a new article, high performance hydrophilic anti-icing coatings with carboxyl groups were facilely fabricated via UV curing polyurethane methacrylate prepolymers, which were prepared through polyaddition of isophorone diisocyanate (IPDI), poly(propylene glycol) (PPG), dimethylolpropionic acid (DMPA) and 2-hydroxypropyl methacrylate (HPMA) gradually in acetone (A series prepolymer) or isobornyl acrylate (IBOA) (B series prepolymer), and finally treated with triethylamine (TEA). The structures of A series prepolymer and the corresponding cured coating were confirmed via various techniques. The anti-icing performance of the cured coatings was investigated by ice freezing delay test, ice adhesion strength test, water contact angle and water absorption tests, and DSC test.

Based on the testing results, the anti-icing behavior was defined as the incomplete icing of water on hydrophilic surface to weaken the interface adhesion. The ice adhesion strength firstly decreased as the DMPA content increased. At DMPA content of 5 %, the coating displayed a stable and very low ice adhesion strength of 40 kPa even after 25 times of icing (at −12 °C) and de-icing (at 25 °C) cycling. At even higher DMPA content, the ice adhesion strength improved because of the anchoring effect of the ice. Moreover, when IBOA was used as reactive diluent and participated in the polymerisation with the prepolymers, the obtained B series coatings could have much improved mechanical properties, together with low ice adhesion strength. According to the researchers, the facile fabrication process, the excellent anti-icing performance and the adjustable mechanical properties should make the coatings suitable for various purposes.

The study has been published in Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 182, September 2023.

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