Metal foams, condensation, frost formation, surface treatment
Metal foams has been considered as promising materials for multiple thermal applications including air-cooling. Their use in such an application requires a detailed analysis of the condensate retention and frost accumulation in the metal foam pores. The current study is focused on the impact of surface treatment on the performance of metal foams when they are deployed in dehumidifying and frosting environment. Aluminum and cooper foam samples have been treated to achieve hydrophilic, hydrophobic and super hydrophobic characteristics and associated condensate retention and frost accumulation on the surface has been measured at various relative humidity and base temperature conditions. High resolution imaging techniques has been used to illustrate the impact of surface treatment. Along with the surface treatment, the impact of metal foam geometry (porosity and pore size) has been highlighted as well and the findings have been summarized in form of guidelines for the application of metal foam in air cooling application where the condensation and frost formation cannot be avoided.