Prior Research

  • Yang Liu
  • Francis A. Kulacki
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Applied Sciences and Technology book series (BRIEFSAPPLSCIENCES)


A review of the relevant literature on frost formation and the defrost process is presented. Key elements of the frost formation process are first described and summarized, and the role of surface wettability is highlighted. The effect of surface wettability, melt water behavior and ice adhesion on the defrost process is then discussed, and several experimental and analytical investigations are reviewed.


Defrost Process Frost Formation Frost Thickness Defrost Time Frost Growth 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Na B, Webb RL (2003) A fundamental understanding of factors affecting frost nucleation. Int J Heat Mass Transfer 46:3797–3808CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Piucco RO, Hermes CJL, Melo C, Barbosa JR Jr (2008) A study of frost nucleation on flat surfaces. Exp Therm Fluid Sci 32:1710–1715CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Thibaut Brian PL, Reid RC, Shah YT (1970) Frost deposition on cold surfaces. Ind Eng Chem Fund 9(3):375–380CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kennedy LA, Goodman J (1974) Free convection heat and mass transfer under conditions of frost deposition. Int J Heat Mass Transfer 17:477–484CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hayashi Y, Aoki A, Adachi S, Hori K (1977) Study of frost properties correlating with frost formation types. Trans ASME J Heat Transfer 99:239–245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cremers CJ, Mehra VK (1982) Frost formation on vertical cylinders in free convection. Trans ASME J Heat Transfer 104:3–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Fossa M, Tanda G (2002) Study of free convection frost formation on a vertical plate. Exp Therm Fluid Sci 26:661–668CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Liu FZ, Chen HX, Fu JK (2002) Study on frost characteristics of finned-tube heat exchanger under low temperature conditions. Fluid Machinery 30(11):54–57Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Wu X, Dai W, Xu W, Tang L (2007) Mesoscale investigation of frost formation on a cold surface. Exp Therm Fluid Sci 31:1043–1048CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Janssen DD, Mohs WF, Kulacki FA (2016) Frost layer growth based on high-resolution image analysis. Trans ASME 8:021018-1–021018-12Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Jones BW, Parker JD (1975) Frost formation with varying environmental parameters. Trans ASME J Heat Transfer 97(2):255–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Schneider HW (1978) Equation of the growth rate of frost forming on cooled surfaces. Int J Heat Mass Transfer 21:1019–1024CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Dietenberger MA (1983) Generalized correlation of the water frost thermal conductivity. Int J Heat Mass Transfer 26(4):607–619CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Tao Y-X, Besant RW, Rezkallah KS (1993) A mathematical model for predicting the densification and growth of frost on a flat plate. Int J Heat Mass Transfer 36(2):353–363CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Tao Y-X, Besant RW (1993) Prediction of spatial and temporal distributions of frost growth on a flat plate under forced convection. Trans ASME J Heat Transfer 115:278–281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Lee K-S, Kim W-S, Lee T-H (1997) A one-dimensional model for frost formation on a cold flat surface. Int J Heat Mass Transfer 40(18):4359–4365CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Le Gall R, Grillot JM (1997) Modelling of frost growth and densification. Int J Heat Mass Transfer 40(13):3177–3187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Cheng C-H, Cheng Y-C (2001) Predictions of frost growth on a cold plate in atmospheric air. Int Commun Heat Mass Transfer 28(7):953–962CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Lee K-S, Jhee S, Yang D-K (2003) Prediction of the frost formation on a cold flat surface. Int J Heat Mass Transfer 46:3789–3796CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Na B, Webb RL (2004) Mass transfer on and within a frost layer. Int J Heat Mass Transfer 47:899–911CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Lee YB, Ro ST (2005) Analysis of the frost growth on a flat plate by simple models of saturation and Supersaturation. Exp Therm Fluid Sci 29:685–696CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Na B, Webb RL (2004) New model for frost growth rate. Int J Heat Mass Transfer 47:925–936CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Hao YL, Iragorry J, Tao Y-X (2005) Frost-air interface characterization under natural convection. Trans ASME J Heat Transfer 127:1174–1180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Lenic K, Trp A, Frankovic B (2006) Unsteady heat and mass transfer during frost formation in a fin-and-tube heat exchanger. Energy Environ:35–48Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Sahin AZ (1995) An analytical study of frost nucleation and growth during the crystal growth period. Heat Mass Transfer 30:321–330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Sahin AZ (2000) Effective thermal conductivity of frost during the crystal growth period. Int J Heat Mass Transfer 43:539–553CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 28.
    Zhong YF, Jacobi AM, Georgiadis JG (2006) Condensation and wetting behavior on surfaces with micro-structures: super-hydrophobic and super-hydrophilic. Proc Int Ref Air Cond, Paper 828Google Scholar
  28. 29.
    Liu ZL, Wang HY, Zhang XH, Meng S, Ma CF (2006) An experimental study on minimizing frost deposition on a cold surface under natural convection conditions by use of a novel anti-frosting paint, Part I. Int J Refrigeration 29:229–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 30.
    Liu ZL, Zhang XH, Wang HY, Meng S, Cheng S (2007) Influences of surface hydrophilicity on frost formation on a vertical cold plate under natural convection conditions. Exp Therm Fluid Sci 31(7):789–794CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 31.
    Liu ZL, Gou YJ, Wang JT, Cheng S (2008) Frost formation on a super-hydrophobic surface under natural convection conditions. Int J Heat Mass Transfer 51(25–26):5975–5982CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 32.
    Chen C-H, Cai Q, Tsai C, Chen C-L, Xiong G, Yu Y, Ren Z (2007) Dropwise condensation on superhydrophobic surfaces with two-tier roughness. Appl Phys Lett 90:173108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 33.
    Wang H, Tang LM, Wu XM, Dai WT, Qiu YP (2007) Fabrication and anti-frosting performance of superhydrophobic coating based on modified nano-sized calcium carbonate and ordinary polyacrylate. Appl Surf Sci 253(22):8818–8824CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 34.
    Wang FC, Li CR, Lv YZ, Du YF (2009) A facile superhydrophobic surface for mitigating ice accretion. In: Proceedings of the 9th international conference on properties and applications of dielectric materials A-34:150–153Google Scholar
  34. 35.
    Varanasi KP, Deng T, Smith JD, Hsu M, Nitin Bhate N (2010) Frost formation and ice adhesion on superhydrophobic surfaces. Appl Phys Lett 97(23):234102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 36.
    He M, Wang JX, Li HL, Jin XL, Wang JJ, Liu BQ, Song YL (2010) Super-hydrophobic film retards frost formation. Soft Matter 6:2396–2399CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 37.
    He M, Wang JX, Li HL, Song YL (2011) Super-hydrophobic surfaces to condensed micro-droplets at temperatures below the freezing point retard ice/frost formation. Soft Matter 7:3993–4000CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 38.
    Farhadi S, Farzaneh M, SKulinich SA (2011) Anti-icing performance of superhydrophobic surfaces. Appl Surf Sci 257(14):6264–6269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 27.
    Shin J, Tikhonov AV, Kim C (2003) Experimental study on frost structure on surfaces with different hydrophilicity: density and thermal conductivity. Trans ASME J Heat Transfer 125(1):84–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Bahadur V, Mishchenko L, Hatton B, Taylor JA, Aizenberg J, Krupenkin T (2011) Predictive model for ice formation on superhydrophobic surfaces. Langmuir 27(23):14143–14150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Min J, Webb RL, Bemisderfer CH (2000) Long-term hydraulic performance of dehumidifying heat-exchangers with and without hydrophilic coatings. HVAC&R Res 6(3):257–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Jhee S, Lee K-S, Kim W-S (2002) Effect of surface treatments on the frosting/defrosting behavior of a fin-tube heat exchanger. Int J Refrigeration 25:1047–1053CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Kim K, Lee KS (2011) Frosting and defrosting characteristics of a fin according to surface contact angle. Int J Heat Mass Transfer 54(13–14):2758–2764CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Wu XM, Webb RL (2001) Investigation of the possibility of frost release from a cold surface. Exp Therm Fluid Sci 2(3–4):151–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Huang LY, Liu ZL, Liu YM, Gou YJ, Wang JT (2009) Experimental study on frost release on fin-and-tube heat exchangers by use of a novel anti-frosting paint. Exp Therm Fluid Sci 33:1049–1054CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Antonini C, Innocenti M, Horn T, Marengo M, Amirfazli A (2011) Understanding the effect of superhydrophobic coatings on energy reduction in anti-icing systems. Cold Reg Sci Technol 67:58–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Jing T, Kim Y, Lee S, Kim D, Kim J, Hwang W (2013) Frosting and defrosting on rigid superhydrophobic surface. Appl Surf Sci 276:37–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Boreyko JB, Srijanto BR, Nguyen TD, Carlos Vega C, Fuentes-Cabrera M, Collier CP (2013) Dynamic defrosting on nanostructured superhydrophobic surfaces. Langmuir 29:9516–9524CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Chen XM, Ma RY, Zhou HB, Zhou XF, Che LF, Yao SH, Wang ZK (2013) Activating the microscale edge effect in a hierarchical surface for frosting suppression and defrosting promotion. Sci Rep 3:2515CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Korte C, Jacobi AM (2001) Condensate retention effects on the performance of plain-fin-and-tube heat exchangers: retention data and modeling. Trans ASME J Heat Transfer 123(5):926–936CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Min J, Webb RL (2001) Condensate formation and drainage on typical fin materials. Exp Therm Fluid Sci 25:101–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Zhong Y, Joardar A, Gu Z, Park Y-G, Jacobi AM (2005) Dynamic dip testing as a method to assess the condensate drainage behavior from the air-side surface of compact heat exchangers. Exp Therm Fluid Sci 29:957–970CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    EI Sherbini AI, Jacobi AM (2006) A model for condensate retention on plain-fin heat exchangers. Trans ASME J Heat Transfer 128:427–433CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Sommers AD, Jacobi AM (2008) Wetting phenomena on micro-grooved aluminum surfaces and modeling of the critical droplet size. J Colloid Interface Sci 328(2):402–411CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Liu L, Jacobi AM (2009) Air-side surface wettability effects on the performance of slit-fin-and-tube heat exchangers operating under wet-surface conditions. Trans ASME J Heat Transfer 13:051802-1–051802-9Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    Rahman AM, Jacobi AM (2012) Drainage of frost meltwater from vertical brass surfaces with parallel microgrooves. Int J Heat Mass Transfer 55:1596–1605CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Sanders CT (1974) The influence of frost formation and defrosting on the performance of air coolers. Doctoral dissertation, Delft University of TechnologyGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Krakow KI, Yan L, Lin S (1992) A model of hot-gas defrosting of evaporators. Part 1: Heat and mass transfer theory. ASHRAE Trans 98(1):451–461Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Krakow KI, Yan L, Lin S (1992) A model of hot-gas defrosting of evaporators. Part 2: Experimental analysis. ASHRAE Trans 98(1):462–474Google Scholar
  59. 59.
    Sherif SA, Hertz MG (1998) A semi-empirical model for electric defrosting of a cylindrical coil cooler. Int J Energy Res 22(1):85–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Lamberg P, Siren K (2003) Analytical model for melting in a semi-infinite PCM storage with an internal fin. Heat Mass Transfer 39:167–176CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Liu Z, Tang G, Zhao F (2003) Dynamic simulation of air-source heat pump during hot-gas defrost. Appl Therm Eng 23:675–685CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Hoffenbecker N, Klein SA, Reindl DT (2005) Hot gas defrost model development and validation. Int J Refrigeration 28(4):605–615CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Dopazo JA, Fernandez-Seara J, Uhia FJ, Diz R (2010) Modelling and experimental validation of the hot-gas defrost process of an air-cooled evaporator. Int J Refrigeration 33(4):829–839CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. 64.
    Minglu Q, Liang X, Shiming D, Yiqiang J (2012) A study of the reverse cycle defrosting performance on a multi-circuit outdoor coil unit in an air source heat pump. Part I: Experiments. Appl Energy 91:122–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Qu M, Pan D, Xia L, Deng S, Jiang Y (2012) A study of the reverse cycle defrosting performance on a multi-circuit outdoor coil unit in an air source heat pump. Part II: Modeling analysis. Appl Energy 91:274–280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    Mohs WF (2012) Heat and mass transfer during the melting process of a porous frost layer on a vertical surface. Doctoral dissertation, University of MinnesotaGoogle Scholar
  67. 67.
    Raraty LE, Tabor D (1958) The adhesion and strength properties of ice. Proc R Soc Lond A 245:84–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. 68.
    Jellinek HHG (1959) Adhesive properties of ice. J Colloid Interface Sci 14:268–280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. 69.
    Ryzhkin IA, Petrenko VF (1997) Physical mechanisms responsible for ice adhesion. J Phys Chem B 101(32):6267–6270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. 70.
    Makkonen L (2012) Ice adhesion – theory, measurements and countermeasures. J Adhes Sci Technol 26:413–445Google Scholar
  71. 71.
    Chen J, Liu J, He M, Li K, Cui D, Zhang Q, Zeng X, Zhang Y, Wang J, Song Y (2012) Superhydrophobic surfaces cannot reduce ice adhesion. Appl Phys Lett 101(11):111603-1–111603-3Google Scholar
  72. 72.
    Meuler AJ, Smith JD, Varanasi KK, Mabry JM, McKinley GH, Cohen RE (2010) Relationships between water wettability and ice adhesion. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2(11):3100–3110. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. 73.
    Majumdar A, Mezic I (1999) Instability of ultra-thin water films and the mechanism of droplet formation on hydrophilic surfaces. Trans ASME J Heat Transfer 121:964–971CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yang Liu
    • 1
  • Francis A. Kulacki
    • 2
  1. 1.Graduate School at ShenzhenTsinghua UniversityShenzchenChina
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

Personalised recommendations