Anti-icing/De-icing Systems to Improve Aircraft Performance and Safety
Austrian national programm “Takeoff”
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, FH Joanneum,
Operating aircraft under adverse weather conditions can result in the icing of aircraft parts. This is not only a problem in terms of performance and convenience, but also represents a considerable safety risk. Icing has led to numerous plane crashes and remains one of the most critical aviation safety risks.
The goal of the project is the manufacture of new and innovative materials as a surface coating for aircraft to prevent icing. Furthermore, micro-mechanical (piezo) actuators will be developed for active de-icing. All test samples are tested in an adaptive wind tunnel in which icing conditions can be simulated. Simulation tools are also tested for their applicability. The results can be applied not only to aviation but also to the automotive industry, wind parks, architecture, water transport and more.
In the course of the project, the initial phase analyses the conditions leading to the formation of ice and at the same time investigates the adhesion properties of ice. Three different approaches to the problem are taken. The first of these investigates ice prevention by reducing adhesion with the use of a chemical surface coating. Another approach attempts to actively remove ice using piezo actuators. In addition, an attempt is made to simulate ice formation, together with the testing of samples in the ice wind tunnel. The aeronautics industry is taking part in the project and the results will be evaluated in respect to their relevance and applicability.