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Researchers are challenging an age-old theory about the processes that control the clearing of water condensation from surfaces. (Photo by L. Brian Stauffer)

Water repellency is needed for surfaces to shed condensation buildup. New research by the University of Illinois and North Carolina State University shows that the necessity of water repellency is unclear and that the slipperiness between the droplets and solid surface appears to be more critical to the clearing of condensation.

This development has implications for the costs associated with de-icing surfaces for aircraft.