• nanoclay;
  • durability;
  • spray;
  • impact

The performance of a polyurethane/organoclay superhydrophobic nanocomposite modified with perfluoroalkyl methacrylic copolymer in the presence of a high-pressure air-water spray which mimics an icing cloud impact is investigated in this study. To quantify the average velocites of droplets impacting the superhydrophobic samples, a computational study was performed. Such a study is important to understand the interaction between the jet and surface. Impacting velocities for three different testing conditions were estimated to be 14.5, 4.5, and 3.4 m/s. Liquid saturation did not occur immediately, but over time, the high mass flow rate of water led to antiwetting performance degradation. Upon evaporation, contact angle returned to pretest values, indicating little mechanical erosion. This was consistent with scanning electron microscopy which showed that the nano and microstructure was preserved, and with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, which showed no surface chemistry change after testing. However, sliding angle showed stronger degradation, especially at higher impact velocities. © 2014 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 60: 3025–3032, 2014