Mohammad Jamali, a doctoral student in VCU’s Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, won top honors in the student poster competition at FiltCon 2019, the annual meeting of the American Filtration and Separations Society. Jamali’s poster detailed his research on droplet adhesion to hydrophobic non-woven fibrous surfaces. His adviser is Hooman Tafreshi, Ph.D., professor of mechanical engineering.
Jamali’s poster presented an overview of a study on droplet mobility over hydrophobic non-woven materials. Because Earth’s gravity was not strong enough to detach water droplets from these fibers, the experiments used an aqueous ferrofluid whose droplets were mobilized with the help of a permanent magnet. He recorded the detachment process with a high-speed camera that detected the moment of droplet detachment. Magnetic force was measured using a sensitive scale. The result was an easy-to-use predictive equation for the force required for droplet detachment from the non-woven surface.
“This work provides a means for designing non-woven materials with high droplet mobility, such as self-cleaning fabrics. This is a desirable property that allows a surface to remain clean for a longer period of time, and it is often brought about by water (or oil) repellency,” he said.