Tenfold Faster Method of Defrosting Your Car

Jul 11th, 2017

A group of scientists from Virginia Tech College of Engineering under the guidance of Jonathan Boreyko has found a faster way to defrost various surfaces compared to existing defrosting methods. Drivers are not going to wait too long till their car windshield melts as Boreyko did his best to make the aluminium sheets superhydrophobic or water-repellent so that frozen water crystals roll down easily. He has offered a simple chemical recipe to avoid droplets sticking to the surface.

This method is more efficient than the previous ones.

Chilled aluminium surfaces treated with chemicals slow down the freezing of water. Otherwise speaking, chemicals promote nano-air pockets between aluminium and frost deposits which make frost more mobile and faster to melt. Snow slides down the surfaces like a puck on the ice-hockey rink.

If we heat the surface without superhydrophobic coating, the melting snow becomes sticky. It is hard to evaporate it quickly without special chemical coating.  The method of Boreyko enables the slush to disappear faster. Moreover, the surface remains dry.  A novel superhydrophobic coating makes defrosting dynamic which is essential for making various surfaces free from iced water, especially in aircraft maintenance. The application of a new coating can be wider than expected from heat pumps to aircraft and marine turbines.

According to the researchers, they can render any material superhydrophobic. The idea of making the surface nano-rough is not new but the exploration of forming nano-pockets underneath the frozen coat has recently begun.  Boreyko’s method is to make the surface superhydrophobic so that dew drops become mobile. Currently, the team is improving the chemical mixture to achieve a long term effect.