Recent studies have indicated that droplet evaporation heat transfer can be substantially enhanced by fabricating a thin nanoporous superhydrophilic layer on a metal substrate. Such surfaces have immense potential to improve spray cooling processes, however, little durability testing of the surfaces have been performed. In spray cooling applications, as water evaporates any impurities in the water will be deposited onto the surface. Primarily, this investigation serves to demonstrate how minerals in hard water deposit on the surface and interact with the ZnO nanopillars of the superhydrophilic surface. Quantifying the effects of mineral scale on droplet spreading and vaporization heat transfer on the surface is important in determining implementation requirements to advance the surface into industry applications. Micrographs of the surface demonstrate minerals deposit nonuniformly, and quickly fill the nanostructure. Despite a reduction in the extent of droplet spreading due to the mineral deposition, scaled surfaces still demonstrated improved thermal performance compared to the uncoated, smooth copper surface. Scale tended to build up on previously deposited scale leaving largely uncoated areas where droplets chose to preferentially spread resulting in a continued low contact angle. Maintaining these uncoated areas and reducing the contaminants present in the water will extend the life and performance of the nanostructured surface.

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