Artificial trichome copper mesh for dehumidification purposes in architecture

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Marshall, Benjamin Grady

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This thesis studied the properties of switchable wettability copper mesh, which has been developed for separating oil and water mixtures for its ability to dehumidify air. It was theorized that the dendritic structure of the copper 1 and copper 2 oxides grown on the mesh could act like artificial trichomes, bump like structures found on some plants, which would allow the mesh to not only absorb water vapor but also drain liquid water. After constructing fourteen of the mesh samples and the multi pass testing apparatus, tests were conducted at various air speeds. It was determined that the mesh was passively dehumidifying the air at 0.017 grams per hour for the low air speed of 0.002 meters per second. However, with higher air speeds the test apparatus leaked too much for the dehumidification properties of the mesh to be recorded. It was also noted that the different deposition times for copper oxide when constructing the mesh did influence the rate of dehumidification that the mesh was able to achieve. The mesh was able to dehumidify as hypothesized but it was not able to form liquid water which could be drained away. This is hypothesized to happen because the trichome nature of the mesh works via water surface tension which is not present in vapor water.



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