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Biomimetic Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube/Polydimethylsiloxane Nanocomposites with Temperature-Controlled, Hydrophobic, and Icephobic Properties

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posted on 29.09.2021, 20:46 by Yongyang Sun, Yubo Wang, Xin Sui, Wenyan Liang, Liang He, Fangxin Wang, Bin Yang
Retarding and preventing ice/frost formation have increasing importance in aerospace applications because of widespread energy and safety concerns. In this study, multiwalled carbon nanotube–polydimethylsiloxane (MWCNT/PDMS) nanocomposites were fabricated via mechanical stirring and three-roll grinding. By imitating the microstructures of lotus leaves, various biomimetic nanocomposites were prepared by etching micropillar arrays on MWCNT/PDMS nanocomposites. These biomimetic nanocomposites possess superior flexibility, electrical conductivity, hydrophobicity, and icephobicity. Effects of the micropillar height on the wettability, freezing process of water droplets, ice/frost formation, and ice adhesion strength were characterized; influences of temperature on the wettability and strength of ice adhesion and feasibility of electrothermal deicing were investigated. The surface wettability, freezing process of water droplets, ice/frost formation, and ice adhesion strength in the Cassie state are independent of the micropillar height. However, compared to flat surfaces, the adhesion strength of ice increases, and formation of ice/frost decreases because of the presence of surface micropillars. At the same micropillar height, an increase in temperature decreases the contact angle and ice adhesion strength. The results indicate that the surface microstructure designability and flexible temperature-controllability of biomimetic nanocomposites have great potential for use in aerospace (anti-/deicing) applications.

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