Mint Leaves Tells Scientists How to Fight Icing Effectively

Airplane pilots are well aware of the dangers of icing the wings, so scientists are constantly looking for ways to solve this problem. A team of scientists from the School of Engineering at Northwestern University (USA) announced the creation of a new coating, which produces 60% less ice, even at very low temperatures.

The idea of ​​this material was “suggested” by mint leaves. Their surface is a topological combination of "mountain peaks" and "lowlands", making uniform ice formation impossible.

In the process of research, scientists used computer modeling of the process of condensate formation and its distribution over the surface of the sheet. It turned out that condensate accumulates more on the “peaks” and, accordingly, less in the “lowlands”. Moreover, the accumulated condensate soon evaporates, even at temperatures below freezing. As a result, scientists were able to create a model of a surface that is resistant to icing.

Further experiments led the team to an optimal design, repeating the surface of a leaf of mint, on which "peaks" and "lowlands" alternate, forming angles from 40 to 60 degrees. While the thinnest ice forms on the “peaks”, in the “lowlands”, because of the special relief of the surface, it does not exist - thanks to this, the entire surface is thawed more efficiently.

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