Frost Self-Removal Mechanism during Defrosting on Vertical Superhydrophobic Surfaces: Peeling off or Jumping off

Fuqiang Chu, Dongsheng Wen, Xiaomin Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although a superhydrophobic surface has great potential to delay frosting, it tends to become frosted under humid conditions and needs to defrost periodically. So far, the exact mechanism of defrosting still remains unclear. Here, we investigate the frost self-removal mechanism during defrosting on vertical superhydrophobic surfaces. Two self-removal modes are observed: peeling off and jumping off. When the frost thickness is larger than a threshold value, peeling off mode occurs; otherwise, jumping off mode takes place. Compared with the peeling off mode, the jumping off mode is less effective in self-removing frost as jumping is limited by energy transformation. A theoretical model based on frost melting-water permeation mechanism is proposed to determine the threshold value of frost thickness. According to this model, the threshold value of the frost thickness is dependent on the frost porosity and the surface temperature (or heat flux). For our particular experiments, the threshold value of the frost thickness predicted by the proposed model agrees well with our experimental results. Our work may advance the defrosting applications of superhydrophobic surfaces in related engineering fields.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14562-14569
Number of pages8
JournalLangmuir
Volume34
Issue number48
DOIs
StatePublished - 4 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes

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