Effects of the hydrophobic coating on the initiation of frost formation.


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The growth and freezing process of water droplets forming on hydrophobic coated surface were investigated by using a digital high-speed microscopy system. The images indicated that hydrophobicity of surfaces can affect the fusion of inter-droplets to form some relative dry areas between droplets and further result in a sparser droplet distribution. These dry gaps can limit the growth rate of ice crystals and retard frost formation on the hydrophobic coated surfaces. Three empirical correlations for dimensionless freezing time of single water droplets with three various static contact angles were developed. The correlations can be used to predict dimensionless freezing time in a wide range of experimental conditions. Dimensionless freezing times among droplets with different shapes were also compared. Through analyzing the coefficients of these correlations, effects of the hydrophobic coated surfaces on the freezing process of intra-droplets are better understood.



Superhydrophobic coating. Frost formation. Static contact angle. Dimensionless freezing time.