NO IP***Surface Structures to Control Molten Ceramic and Metal Droplet Impingement Behavior

Technology #15325

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FIG. 4 depicts side views of molten tin droplets impinging a silicon nanograss surface when the surface temperature was reduced, according to an illustrative embodiment of the invention
Professor Kripa Varanasi
Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT
External Link (
Rajeev Dhiman
Laboratory for Manufacturing and Productivity, MIT
Managed By
Christopher Noble
MIT Technology Licensing Officer - Clean and Renewable Energy
Rapid Deceleration-Driven Wetting Transition during Pendant Drop Deposition on Superhydrophobic Surfaces
Physical Review Letters, Vol. 106, 036102, 2011
Droplet Mobility on Lubricant-impregnated Surfaces
Soft Matter, Vol. 9, 1772-1780, 2013
Enhanced Condensation on Lubricant-Impregnated Nanotextured Surfaces
ACS Nano, Vol. 6 (11), pp 10122–10129, 2012


This technology controls the impinging behavior of molten ceramic and metal droplets on surfaces.

Problem Addressed

Metal and ceramic droplet adhesion on surfaces plays a major role in a variety of industrial processes.  However, the adhesion rate can be hard to control, creating inefficiencies during spray forming and coating.  Furthermore, undesirable adhesion can interfere with correct industrial operations, such as when metal droplets foul turbine blades.  This technology makes it possible to adjust whether droplets will rebound or adhere to a surface, which improves a variety of applications.


This technology uses nano-scale textures to control the wetting properties of the surface, which in turn control droplet behavior.  Making the surface non-wetting allows droplets to rebound and can completely prevent impinging droplets from sticking to the surface, even when the temperature of the surface is below the melting point of the droplet.  Making the surface smoother enhances droplet adhesion so impinging droplets stick better, allowing for more efficient spray coating and spray forming processes.  Because this technology relies on surface textures rather than chemical coatings, it is compatible with a wide variety of target surfaces and remains stable under harsh environments.


  • Passive method to control impingement of metal or ceramic droplets on surfaces
  • Effective in harsh environments
  • Compatible with a wide range of target materials