A novel approach for the evaluation of ice release performance of coatings using static friction measurements
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Atmospheric icing on structures and equipment represents a challenge for operation and safety. Passive ice removal by ice-phobic coatings has received much attention over the last decades. The current state-of-the-art methods for quantifying the ice-release properties of such coatings suffer from a range of drawbacks, including poor reproducibility and high complexity test setups. Here, a facile rotational tribometer approach for measuring the static friction between polymeric coatings and ice is presented. The torque necessary to initiate motion at the coating-ice interphase was used as a measure of ice release. For a polydimethylsiloxane-based coating (Sylgard 184), the effects of ice-temperature, normal force, coating thickness, and dwell time (contact time between coating and ice at rest with fully applied normal force prior to applying torque) were established along with the conditions resulting in least data variation. With these conditions, tribology-based friction measurements were carried out on two additional coatings; a two-component polyurethane, and a commercial foul release coating. The outcome of the method, i.e., grading of the coatings in terms of antiicing effect, matched those obtained with a widely used ice adhesion test method based on ice shear adhesion testing. The same trends are revealed by the two methods. However, the findings from the proposed tribology-based method result in consistently lower variation in outcomes and offer more detail on the ice adhesion and friction mechanisms.