Design and Preparation of Sandwich-Like Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) Sponges with Super-Low Ice Adhesion
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Original versionSoft Matter. 2018, 14 (23), 4846-4851. 10.1039/c8sm00820e
The mitigation of ice on exposed surfaces is of great importance to many aspects of life. Ice accretion, however, is unavoidable as time elapses and temperature lowers sufficiently. One practical solution is to reduce ice adhesion strength on a surface as low as possible, by either decreasing substrate elastic modulus, lowering surface energy or increasing the length of cracks at ice-solid interface. Herein, we present a facile preparation of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) based sandwich-like sponges with super-low ice adhesion. The weight ratio of the PDMS prepolymer to the curing agent is tuned to lower surface energy and elastic modulus. The introduction of PDMS sponge structures combined the advantages of both reduced apparent elastic modulus and most importantly, the macroscopic crack initiators at ice-solid interface, resulting in dramatic reduction of ice adhesion strength. Our design of sandwich-like sponges achieved a low ice adhesion strength as low as 0.9 kPa for pure PDMS materials without any additives. The super-low ice adhesion strength remains constant after 25 icing and deicing cycles. We thus provided a new and low-cost approach to realize durable super-low ice adhesion surfaces.