Fundamentals of Monitoring Condensation and Frost/Ice Formation in Cold Environments Using Thin-Film Surface-Acoustic-Wave Technology

Xingchang Zeng, Huiling Ong, Luke Haworth, Yuchao Lu, Deyu Yang, Mohammad Rahmati, Qiang Wu, Hamdi Torun, James Martin, Xianghui Hou, Xianglian Lv, Weizheng Yuan, Yang He*, Yongqing (Richard) Fu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


Moisture condensation, fogging, and frost or ice formation on structural surfaces cause severe hazards in many industrial components such as aircraft wings, electric power lines, and wind-turbine blades. Surface-acoustic-wave (SAW) technology, which is based on generating and monitoring acoustic waves propagating along structural surfaces, is one of the most promising techniques for monitoring, predicting, and also eliminating these hazards occurring on these surfaces in a cold environment. Monitoring condensation and frost/ice formation using SAW devices is challenging in practical scenarios including sleet, snow, cold rain, strong wind, and low pressure, and such a detection in various ambient conditions can be complex and requires consideration of various key influencing factors. Herein, the influences of various individual factors such as temperature, humidity, and water vapor pressure, as well as combined or multienvironmental dynamic factors, are investigated, all of which lead to either adsorption of water molecules, condensation, and/or frost/ice in a cold environment on the SAW devices. The influences of these parameters on the frequency shifts of the resonant SAW devices are systematically analyzed. Complemented with experimental studies and data from the literature, relationships among the frequency shifts and changes of temperature and other key factors influencing the dynamic phase transitions of water vapor on SAW devices are investigated to provide important guidance for icing detection and monitoring.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35648-35663
Number of pages16
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number29
Early online date11 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jul 2023

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