This paper presents an experimental study on frost formation on a plate under natural convection conditions. Frost thickness, mass, density, and surface roughness are measured during each test. Frost thickness and roughness are measured using an image processing technique. The effect of operating conditions (temperature of the plate, and temperature and relative humidity of the air) on the properties of frost is investigated. Frost surface roughness is quantified using two parameters: the average roughness and the skewness of the roughness, which can describe the frost layer shape. The surface roughness of the frost layer is considerably higher than the roughness of a flat plate, which should be considered in frosting studies. In this paper, it is shown that frost surface roughness is related to the frost layer shape, porosity and density. It is also found that the plate temperature affects the frost surface roughness significantly; as the plate temperature decreases, the frost layer has a high average roughness and negative skewness, which correspond to a highly porous, low density frost layer. Increasing the air humidity and air temperature affects the average surface roughness slightly but not skewness of the frost surface.

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