Nothing foretells the coming of winter like frost on windshields.
While the inconvenience of scraping or defrosting car windows may define cold mornings for many drivers, the toll frost takes on the larger economy is more than just a nuisance. From delayed flights to power outages, ice buildup can cost consumers and companies billions of dollars every year in lost efficiency and mechanical breakdown.
New research from Virginia Tech, published this week in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, hopes to change that. With the world’s first demonstration of a passive anti-frosting surface, the study provides a proof of concept for keeping surfaces 90 percent dry and frost free indefinitely – all without any chemicals or energy inputs.
“Frosting is a big issue, and researchers have been working to solve this problem for years,” said Farzad Ahmadi, a doctoral student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics in the College of Engineering and the study’s lead author.
Ahmadi explained that traditional approaches to fighting frost have relied on the application of antifreeze chemicals or energy inputs, like heat. Even the age-old method of throwing salt down on roadways is essentially a chemical treatment. Other recent advances include special coatings for surfaces that prevent frost formation, but these coatings aren’t durable and tend to wear off easily.
The Latest on: Anti-frosting
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The Latest on: Anti-frosting
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