High-Speed Imaging of a Water Droplet Impacting a Super Cold Surface

  • Narimane Khaled

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Frost formation is of a major research interest as it can affect many industrial processes. Frost appears as a thin deposit of ice crystals when the temperature of the surface is below the freezing point of the liquid. The objective of this research is to study icing with hope to propose new anti-icing and deicing methods. In the beginning of the research, cracking of the ice layer was observed when a deionized water droplet impacts a ?50 oC cooled sphere surface that is in contact with dry ice. To further investigate the cracks occurrence, multiple experiments were conducted. It was observed that the sphere surface temperature and droplet temperature (ranges from 10-80 oC) have no effect on the crack formation. On the other hand, it was observed that formation of a thin layer of frost on the sphere before the drop impact leads the lateral cracking of the ice. Thus, attempts to reproduce the cracks on clean super cold sphere surfaces were made using scratched and sandblasted spheres as well as superhydrophobized and polymer particle coated spheres. Furthermore, innovative methods were tried to initiate the cracks by placing epoxy glue bumps and ice-islands coatings on the surface of the spheres. All of these attempts to reproduce the crack formation without the presence of frost, failed. Nonetheless, the adding of isolated frost on the sphere surfaces always leads to the crack formation. Generally, frost forms on the small spheres faster than it does on the bigger ones. Additionally, the cold water droplet produces thicker water and ice layer compared to a hot water droplet; and the smaller the sphere the larger its water and ice layer thicknesses.
Date of AwardAug 2016
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Physical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorSigurdur Thoroddsen (Supervisor)


  • Super Cold
  • Drop Impact
  • Dry Ice
  • Crack on Cold Surface
  • High Speed Fluid Imaging
  • Spere Coatings

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