Investigating ice formation and adhesion of slippery surfaces prepared by thermal spraying

Surface engineering shows an increasing potential to provide a sustainable approach to icing problems. Currently, several passive anti-ice properties adoptable to coatings are known, but further research is required to proceed for practical applications. This is due to the fact that icing reduces safety, operational tempo, productivity and reliability of logistics, industry and infrastructure. This research work focuses on the development of icephobic coatings by using thermal spray technologies. Slippery structures produced by using thermal spray processing will be studied and optimized in order to develop functional slippery surfaces with a low ice adhesion. Functionalization of thermal spray coatings will be considered as potential method in order to produce icephobic surfaces, being the key research area in this PhD work.

The aim of this project is to study functionalization of thermal spray coatings by tailoring coating materials and coating structures for anti-icing applications. The successful candidate will develop slippery coatings and investigate the icing properties of potential thermal spray coatings. What is an optimal coating and surface structure for the low ice adhesion? What is the durability and functionality of these surfaces in cyclic icing conditions? How icing conditions affect the icephobicity? The candidate will focus on the development and preparation of feedstock materials, production of coatings and investigations of coating properties such as the ice adhesion and related surface properties. Ice formation and ice adhesion will be analyzed at TUT with the new design icing wind tunnel and centrifugal ice adhesion test facilities. The icing wind tunnel is capable of simulating ice accretion by both in-cloud mechanism (glaze and rime icing) and precipitation icing. Using these icing facilities, icing behavior in different icing conditions will be studied.

The position requires:

  • Background in materials science and material chemistry
  • Knowledge of polymer materials is beneficial
  • Knowledge of icing as a phenomenon is beneficial
  • Positive attitude to work in cold climate conditions and handy in tasks requiring precision work

For further information, please contact:

Prof. Petri Vuoristo, petri.vuoristo@tut.fi

Dr. Heli Koivuluoto, heli.koivuluoto@tut.fi

TUT Foundation – Tampere University of Technology (TUT), Tampere, Finland


Position closed