Spring 2020 Magazine, McCormick School of Engineering, Northwestern University

Geometrically Freezing out Frost

Geometrically Freezing Out Frost

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Inspired by the geometric rippling of the surface of leaves, Northwestern Engineering researchers led by Kyoo-Chul (Ken) Park discovered a way to reduce frost formation significantly. In foliage, frost forms more on the convex regions than the concave. By tweaking the texture of various materials’ surfaces experimentally, the team reduced frost formation by up to 60 percent. This finding could decrease the energy required to deice airplanes, resulting in fewer delayed or canceled flights.