Effects of superhydrophobic coatings on de-icing of carbon fiber-reinforced composite aircraft
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Freezing rain is a vital problem in which super-cooled droplets from the atmosphere cause atmospheric icing. This causes various losses in material properties as well as in human lives due to issues in artificial structures found both on the ground and in the air. The accumulation of ice in man-made structures can limit the performance of various equipment and also can cause their destruction in major industries such as aviation, automotive transportation, telecommunication, and many others. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration Aviation Safety Reporting System reported 299 incidents between the years 1978 and 2005 due to icing. Furthermore, from the years 2006 to 2010, 228 icing-related accidents and 30 inflight-related incidents were reported. The removal of formed ice includes by way of chemicals using various techniques which might be costly, time-consuming, and risky. This thesis basically explains how a surface can be prepared so that ice that has formed on it can be removed easily from the outset without applying anything after it has developed. In this research, a coating was sprayed on pre-impregnated fiber reinforcements by hand, and a composite was prepared. This was followed by another coating and heat treatment. The process helped the coating to remain durable. Results showed that the contact angle of the composite was consistent after every test, and de-icing in the composite was attained. Research in this field for superhydrophobic material is mainly found on open cell structure such as a pillar-like structure, a bumpy structure, etc. In the research in this thesis, the properties of superhydrophobic coatings on carbon composite materials were analyzed, and experiments were carried out to determine if the coating could be a promising factor in de-icing.
Thesis (M.S.)--Wichita State University, College of Engineering, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering