Fabrics treated to repel water, superhydrophobic, and water and oil, superamphiphobic, have numerous industrial and consumer-level benefits. However, the liquid repellency decreases in the course of time. This is largely due to chemical or physical changes of the coating due to prolonged exposure to relatively harsh environments. To develop more durable fabric treatments for specific applications, it is necessary to measure the extent to which the treated fabrics retain their low-wettability after being subjected to controlled aggressive environmental conditions. In this study, plain weave fabrics made from polyester filaments and coated with silicone nanofilaments in-solution were exposed to aerodynamic icing conditions. The coated fabrics showed superhydrophobic behavior, or superamphiphobic for those that were fluorinated. The wettability of the fabrics was progressively evaluated by contact angle and roll-off-angle measurements. The coated fabrics were able to maintain their low-wettability characteristics after exposure to water droplet clouds at airspeeds up to 120 m/s, despite damage to the silicone nanofilaments, visible through scanning electron microscopy.
- atmospheric icing
- ultra-light aircraft