ICE CAN KILL YOU. SCIENCE CAN SAVE YOU.
Ice can build up on airplane wings. When this happens, the airplane loses lift. When an airplane loses lift, it doesn’t fly so good.
What if were possible to make metal immune to icing? What if this immune-to-icing metal could also be used in compressors so that air conditioners and heat pumps and refrigerators and freezers didn’t ice up? Actually? If you add it all up, the money saved, the energy that wouldn’t be wasted, the air fatalities that wouldn’t happen – this would make the world a better place.
Two women at a college in Cambridge, Massachusetts developed (ACS Nano) a treatment for metal that repels ice. Ice doesn’t have a chance. Anything – even “incipient condensation droplets” – slides right off. Dr. Joanna Aizenberg and Dr. Amy Smith Berylson call the product SLIPS. The marketing department may call it something catchier. Whatever. The point is, this is a great idea. Potentially, this has lots of uses. It even works for the blades of wind turbines which, if they get iced up, also lose “lift” and become inefficient.
The downside? I sure can’t find one.
ScienceAintSoBadRating = 10
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Photo credits with appreciation to Frank Starmer, Associate Dean for Learning Technologies, Professor of Biolstatics and Bioinformatics, Duke University, Duke – National University Of Singapore Graduate School
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