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Icy weather is blamed for multibillion dollar losses every year in the United States, including delays and damage related to air travel, infrastructure and power generation and transmission facilities. Finding effective, durable and environmentally stable de-icing materials has been stymied by the stubborn tenacity with which ice adheres to the materials on which it forms.
Researchers from the University of Houston have reported a new theory in physics called stress localization, which they used to tune and predict the properties of new materials. Based on those predictions, the researchers reported in Materials Horizons that they have created a durable silicone polymer coating capable of repelling ice from any surface.
Concept - Material - Ice - Adhesion - Chemical
"We have developed a new physical concept and the corresponding icephobic material that shows extremely low ice adhesion while having long-term mechanical, chemical and environmental durability," they wrote.
Hadi Ghasemi, Bill D. Cook Assistant Professor of mechanical engineering at UH and corresponding author for the work, said the findings suggest a way to take trial and error out of the search for new materials, in keeping with the movement of materials science toward a physics-driven approach.
Properties - Principle - Material - Concept - Materials
"You put in the properties you want, and the principle will tell you what material you need to synthesize," he said, noting that the concept can also be used to predict materials with superb antibacterial or other desirable properties.
His collaborators on the...
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