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Heat Transfer Research
IF: 0.404 5-Year IF: 0.8 SJR: 0.264 SNIP: 0.504 CiteScore™: 0.88

ISSN Print: 1064-2285
ISSN Online: 2162-6561

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Heat Transfer Research

DOI: 10.1615/HeatTransRes.2018019776
pages 381-397


Tongxin Zhang
School of Engineering and Computer Science, Baylor University, Waco, TX, 76798, USA
Dennis L. O'Neal
School of Engineering and Computer Science, Baylor University, Waco, TX, 76798, USA


The freezing process of water droplets was investigated for an uncoated and two coated aluminum surfaces subjected to the action of a forced convective environment. One of the coatings was a silicon-based conformal polymer and the other was a hydrophobic coating. Static contact angles of the droplets ranged from 74.6 deg for the uncoated aluminum to 127.1 deg for the hydrophobic coating. Air velocities ranged from 0.2 to 1.85 m/s, surface temperatures ranged from –5 to –13°C, air temperatures ranged from 4 to 24°C, and air relative humidities were varied from 24 to 54%. Droplet radii ranged from 0.4 to 1.5 mm. A digital high speed microscopy system was used to visually observe and measure the freezing in individual droplets. Empirical correlations for dimensionless freezing time as a function of three nondimensional variables (Am, Re, and Ste) were developed. These correlations could be used to estimate dimensionless freezing time over a wide range of experimental conditions. Droplets on the hydrophobic surface showed the slowest nondimensional freezing times while those on the silicon-based conformal polymer coating and uncoated surfaces were comparable. The data for the silicon-based conformal polymer coating surface were also compared to the data from a prior researcher.