New magnetic material outperforms all existing icephobic solutions

Ice on wings and power lines could be a thing of the past thanks to a magnetic ice-repellant coating.

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University of HoustonMagnetic Slippery Surface in action

The Magnetic Slippery Surface (MAGSS) beats all other ‘icephobic’ surfaces so far developed, it is claimed.

Ghasemi illustrates how a drop of water rolls off his newly invented icephobic surface (University of Houston)
University of HoustonGhasemi illustrates how a drop of water rolls off his newly invented icephobic surface.

The material, developed by Hadi Ghasemi, Bill D. Cook Assistant Professor of mechanical engineering at University of Houston, can be applied to any surface including ceramic, polymer or metal.

A magnetic material is placed on the underside of the surface allowing a thin layer of magnetic ‘ferrofluid’ deposited on the other side to cling to it. The ferrofluid – a mixture of fluid and iron oxide nanoparticles – acts as a barrier preventing water droplets freezing to the surface as long as the temperature stays above Water cannot freeze on a surface coated with the material until it reached minus 29 degrees Fahrenheit.

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