January Speaker Announcement

We are pleased to host Dr. Adam Paxson as the first speaker of 2016. Please join us at 11:30 on January 13th to kick off the new year with East Tennessee Chapter. See the "Meetings" tab to sign up for our mailing list. See below for abstract and bio. 


Dr. Paxson (MIT MechE PhD ’14, S.M. ’11, S.B. ’09) is an expert on advanced dropwise condensation technologies, with 6 years experience with advanced hydrophobic coatings. He previously co-founded LiquiGlide, which won the 2012 MIT $100k Audience Choice and was one of the TIME Magazine Best Inventions of the Year. He completed his PhD in the lab of Prof. Kripa Varanasi in Mechanical Engineering, where he was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, MIT Energy Fellow, and Martin Family Sustainability Fellow, co-author of 9 journal publications, and co-inventor of 11 patents.


Heat exchangers are a crucial part of every thermal fluid system, from the intercoolers and radiators used to cool cars and trucks, to the condensers and evaporators that drive HVAC/R equipment, to the massive boilers and condensers that drive manufacturing processes and power plants. They rely on very thin heat transfer surfaces that are extremely sensitive to even the slightest degree of fouling and corrosion, which creates a process bottleneck and forces operators to either reduce output capacity, consume more energy to compensate, or shut down completely to clean the affected heat exchanger. For all of these problems, conventional liquid-based anti-fouling and anti-corrosion coatings are far too thick and can insulate the heat transfer surfaces. Faced with this unacceptable performance tradeoff, the status quo is to leave the equipment uncoated and to bear the significant costs of the fouling and corrosion that inevitably occur. Using an innovative vapor-based deposition process, DropWise coatings are chemically grafted to virtually any surface and built up to precise thicknesses. The chemical grafting provides an extremely durable bond that has surpassed testing under severe industrial conditions, and the coating thicknesses can be tuned to nanometer precision to be hundreds of times thinner than conventional coatings. This presentation will cover the basics of how the coating process works, and some preliminary heat transfer results on steam condenser applications.