Energy efficient de-icing by superhydrophobic and icephobic polyurethane films created by microstructuring and plasma-coating
As known de-icing methods use a high amount of energy or environmentally harmful chemicals, research has focused lately on passive de-icing by functional surfaces with an improved removal of ice (de-icing) or a reduced formation of it (anti-icing). Inspired by the Lotus plant leaf, a ""superhydrophobic"" surface can be produced by the combination of a hierarchical micro/nanoscale roughness and a hydrophobic surface coating. By a hot stamping process we have generated differently shaped microstructures (cylinders, ellipses) on polyurethane (PU) films which were afterwards coated by a plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) process with thin, hydrophobic fluorocarbon films. This combination of methods could be a process for the production of large area functionalized films. PU films are suitable for outdoor use, because they are resistant against erosion and UV radiation. The films can be glued to different geometries and can easily be exchanged if damaged.