Monday, July 10, 2017

An Exceptionally Clever Way to Defrost Car Windows Quickly #Science #Engineering #Technology

You probably have to be the maximal engineering gearhead to think of such a thing as this and that's not a skill likely to ever appear on my resume by I appreciate the outlandishly cool result.

Virginia Tech researchers experimented by treating aluminum plates to render them superhydrophobic — that is, so water-repellent that droplets easily roll off without sticking to the surface.

Credit: Virginia Tech

Jonathan Boreyko turned on the defroster in his car one cold winter morning and waited for the ice on the windshield to melt. And kept waiting.

Boreyko, an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics in the College of Engineering, knew there had to be a more efficient, quicker way to melt the frost.

So he developed one.

Science Daily:  Forget defrosting your car at a glacial pace: New research speeds process up tenfold

When heat is applied to a surface not treated with the superhydrophobic coating, the meltwater from the frost sticks to the surface and has to be slowly evaporated. Comparatively, the frost on a surface treated with the superhydrophobic coating rapidly slides off in clumps of slush -- even before all the ice has melted -- leaving the surface dry.

Boreyko calls the novel concept "dynamic defrosting."

- SD

There's considerably more in the source article regarding the mechanics of how this works but that view of it will probably do it for most non-engineers along with the punchline it works ten times faster.

Unless you live in Aruba, you have probably experienced the situation in which your car windows are frozen and you can't roll until they defrost but that takes forever.  The article didn't give an idea of how soon this could be available commercially but I'm sure you see the potential is enormous.  The author even suggested this might be effective for dealing with icing on aircraft.

All that springs one from crazy gearhead idea ... most impressive.

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