Nanocomposite coatings have attracted increasing interest, and are among the most exciting and fastest growing areas of research in the last decade, due to their enormous potentials for offering unique advantages.
Desirable surface functionalities and protective effects can be achieved with specifically designed nanocomposite coatings and nanostructures, e.g., hydrophobic/icephobic, self-lubrication, erosion resistance, electrical conducting/insulation, thermal conducting/insulation, and energy conversion, etc.
Functional and Protective Coatings
Research and development of icephobic nanocomposite coatings for ice protection
R&D of surface engineering and advanced coating techniques to fabricate icephobic nanocomposite coatings and minimize the ice accumulation and lower the ice adhesion strength on specific substrates. The interaction and interfacial slippage mechanism between ice and the studied coating surface is investigated, as well as the influences from materials, composition, processing, and surface topography. The work mainly includes surface treatment, material preparation, coating processing, microstructural characterization, coating durability evaluation, icing and ice adhesion test, etc.
Nanotubes based nanocomposite layers for self-heating and de-icing application
De-icing electro-thermal constructions are frequently required in the aerospace sector, to prevent ice accumulation and remove the ice from aircraft surface during the flight. Typically an electro-thermal structure consists of a metal framework and inorganic insulator which is normally complicated and heavy. In this project, based on weight reduction ambitions, it is proposed to fabricate self-heating nanocomposite layers from electrical conducting nanomaterials (e.g. nanotubes, nanowires and nanosheets, etc.), as an effective de-icing approach in aerospace.
Multi-functional polymeric nanocomposite layers based on electrospun nanofibers
Nanofibres have the great potentials for various applications due to their large surface-to-volume ration, and the specific orientation. Electrospinning has the unique capability to fabricate nanofibers in various fibrous assemblies. This research project focuses on the R&D of multi-functional polymeric nanocomposite layers constructed by electrospun nanofibers, for potential applications in aerospace, automotive and biomedical industries.
Nanocomposite coatings for thermal conducting/electrical insulation application
High thermal conductivity and high electrical insulation are required for high-density electrical power system. This project aims to achieve high thermal conducting and high electrical insulation nanocomposite coating and establish specific interface screening methodology to guide and assist the materials development. A new analytical approach will also be developed to study the water condensation/icing on selected surfaces.