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Second Thermal and Fluids Engineering  Conference

ISSN: 2379-1748
ISBN: 978-1-56700-430-4

HYDROPHOBIC STAINLESS STEEL SURFACES WITH MICRON-SCALE AND SUB-MICRON STRUCTURES FROM LASER FABRICATION

Cong Cui
Memorial University of Newfoundland, 230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL A1B 3X5, Canada

Brandon Collier
Memorial University of Newfoundland, 230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL A1B 3X5, Canada

Xili Duan
Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL A1B 3X5, Canada

Kristin M. Poduska
Memorial University of Newfoundland, 230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL A1B 3X5, Canada

Abstract

This paper demonstrates that laser-machined stainless steel surfaces exhibit excellent hydrophobicity even with relatively simple microstructural designs. 17-4 PH stainless steel was laser machined to produce channels or pillars (100 μm pitch), with either uniform heights (100 μm) or alternating heights (between 100 μm and 50 μm). During machining, the high power laser beams also created sub-micron features on the microstructures, leading to hierarchical, multiscale surface structures. These surfaces showed good hydrophobicity: measured static contact angles of water on these surfaces are over 130° without any coating, compared to near 70° on the original steel surface without the multi-scale surface structures. Since liquid-repellent surfaces have many engineering applications but are often difficult to produce on common metals such as steel, these results have potential industrial benefits.

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