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Surface Characterisation and Ice Adhesion

Evaluation of anti-ice coatings at Aerospace and Advanced Composites GmbH

Icing is a common phenomenon in aviation. It can occur on the fuselage, pitot tubes, air inlets, leading edges but also on surfaces in the air condition of the aircraft or in the ground unit.

At AAC we have specialised in the characterisation of anti-icing surfaces. These tests include:

  • Static water contact angle (WCA)
  • Roll-Off angle
  • Surface energy (determination using three different liquids and calculation by Owens, Wendt, Rabel and Kaelble method)
  • Ice adhesion shear force
  • Surface roughness

The ice adhesion shear force is measured on an in house developed test rig, suitable for rapid determination of the adhesion shear force. In this test, a pluck of ice is frozen to the surface and subsequently pushed parallel to the surface until the ice breaks away.

  • Sample size: up to (10 x 20) cm
  • Sample substrate: Metal, 1mm thickness
  • Measurement temperature: -35°C variable +/- 5°C
  • Conditions: Test rig is open to the abient.
  • Ice volume: 0,5 mL
  • Ice placement: 0,5mL are filled into an open bottom cuvette on the sample surface
  • Data recording: Force over time, maximum force, surface and ambient temperature
  • Up to six cuvettes can be placed in one test

The test is fast and is especially suitable for rapid screening of different materials or to evaluate the impact of environmental tests, also provided by AAC.

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