Heat conduction important for droplet dynamics

When driving in the rain, it’s preferable that the raindrops roll or bounce off of the windshield instead of coating it or even freezing. A team of engineers at the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis found that conduction of heat plays a larger role than previously thought in the dynamics of droplets on smooth surfaces that repel water.

Portrait shot of Patty Weisensee

Patricia Weisensee, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science, and Junhui Li, a doctoral student in her lab, made the finding after using high-speed imaging methods to study a microscopic entrapped bubble that forms when droplets of water hit a heated, smooth, water-repellent surface. Results of the research are published in the Jan. 1 print issue of the journal Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science.

Read more on the engineering website.

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