2022 journal article
Template-free scalable fabrication of linearly periodic microstructures by controlling ribbing defects phenomenon during forward roll coating
Manufacturing Letters, 33, 153–160.
Linear periodic microstructures are of significant importance in various applications, including drag-reduction, biofouling, self-cleaning, and superhydrophobicity. However, practical applications of such surfaces require mass manufacturing techniques, which are highly limited. This study demonstrated a simple template-free scalable manufacturing technique to fabricate linearly periodic microstructure by controlling the ribbing defects in forward roll coating. A viscoelastic polymer nanocomposite with tailored properties was synthesized and utilized as the coating material. The ribbing instabilities were controlled with process parameters that resulted in variable periodicity of the linearly aligned microstructures with a spacing of 114 – 700 µm. The microstructure arrangement also had a linear to random transition as the instabilities increased. The manufactured surface has a high Wenzel roughness factor that ranges from 1.6 to 3.6, which results in water contact angles of 128o to 150o. The linear microstructure films can have critical applications in the mass manufacturing of drag reduction surfaces. The high aspect-ratio microstructure films can also have applications in superhydrophobic, self-cleaning, anti-icing, and anti-biofouling surfaces.