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New De-Icer Concept

New De-Icer Concept
© Vitalina Rybakova / iStock.com.

Ice on a plane’s wings is a scary predicament for both pilots and passengers. De-icing is time consuming, and you’re often left wondering: Did the ice re-form while waiting for takeoff? To address this issue and related scenarios, Harvard engineers have developed a new technology that keeps any metal surface free of ice and frost. Surfaces treated with the nanostructured material called SLIPS (Slippery Liquid-Infused Porous Surfaces) easily shed water drops, condensation and frost. To boot, the coating is nontoxic and anticorrosive. Other possible applications: roofs, power lines, outdoor signs and wind turbines. And perhaps, finally, an end to tongues getting stuck on cold metal signposts.

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