This week in adhesive news, researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a new coating that is ice-repellent. Thin, clear and slightly rubbery to the touch, the spray-on formula could make ice slide off equipment, airplanes and car windshields with only the force of gravity or a gentle breeze. This could have major implications in industries like energy, shipping and transportation, where ice is a constant problem in cold climates. The rubbery coating repels ice through interfacial cavitation, making the rigid ice easier to break off the malleable rubber surface. The new approach makes it possible to dramatically improve durability compared to previous icephobic coatings, which relied on fragile materials that lost their ice-shedding abilities after just a few freeze-thaw cycles. The new coatings stood up to a variety of lab tests including peel tests, salt spray corrosion, high temperatures, mechanical abrasion and hundreds of freeze-thaw cycles. The coating is detailed in a new paper published in the journal Science Advances.
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