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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Thin-Film Hybrid Coating for Ice Mitigation on Aircraft, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Current aircraft utilize electro-thermal/mechanical protection systems to actively remove ice from vital aircraft surfaces. These systems have high power requirements and only protect certain areas of the aircraft; thus such technology is not considered for next generation vehicles as it will greatly diminish the allocation of power for other vital components. The accumulation of ice on an aircraft (airframe or engine components) results in a drastic decrease of performance (decrease in thrust and lift, increase in weight and drag). To this effect, Materials Modification, Inc. (MMI), proposes to develop a thin-film coating that will combat dynamic icing conditions with a two-part solution; in which the top layer coating consists of a smooth superhydrophobic coating to combat the supercooled water droplets and a base layer that consists of a smooth silicone elastomer to reduce ice adhesion strength from possible ice nucleation. Phase I efforts will be primarily dedicated towards developing and synthesizing the hybrid thin-film coating and evaluating its ice adhesion strength, coating durability, and surface morphology. Phase II efforts will build upon the results of the Phase I findings and incorporate the material/coating into NASA's constructed vehicles such as UAVs, manned aircrafts, and next generation aerial vehicles (N+2). More »

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