Ice formation on aircraft, wind turbines and power lines is a major cost to industry and an ongoing cause of fatal air crashes and accidents from ice-shedding. Current ice mitigation technologies rely on mechanical breaking of the ice, electrical heating or application of de-icing chemicals.
These are expensive, inefficient, unreliable, and damaging to the environment. The aim of the ICEMART project is to develop a novel passive ice-repellent coating that will prevent ice formation and adhesion without the need for active ice-management. This development will have far reaching impact across a wide range of sectors, including aviation and energy where it could save hundreds of lives, eliminate the discharge of over 100 million litres of aircraft de-icing fluid, contribute to annual savings of £7bn in fuel and 80M tonnes of CO2 from aviation and improve wind generation efficiency by 17%.
ICEMART technology is based on a novel patented technique for obtaining multi-functional additives that can be incorporated into coating resins making them highly repellent to water and ice, whilst providing a tough and durable coating.
The objective of this project is to develop a prototype ice protection system that remains effective over a wide range of environmental and operational conditions and enables turbines to operate seamlessly in a cost-effective and energy efficient manner.
- ICEMART coatings could eliminate or significantly reduce the need for on-runway de-icing. Aircraft deicing fluids contain additives which have significant adverse impacts on water quality such as reductions in dissolved oxygen (DO)
- elimination of in-flight de-icing equipment will reduce aircraft weight and power requirement, increasing efficiency and payload. The passive system using ICEMART will also be safer as it is less prone to failure, and does not require aircrew intervention to turn it on/off
- ICEMART will enhance the robustness of laminar flow technologies, reducing fuel consumption, CO2 and NOx emissions by an estimated 4%
- applied to wind turbine blades, ICEMART would eliminate inefficiency caused by ice accretion (up to 17% annual power loss) and prevent injuries and damage from ice shedding
- ICEMART will play a significant role in securing a sustainable aviation industry over the next 20 years with UK companies leading the market in new technologies for future aircraft. This will build upon UK strengths in the aircraft industry, and secure UK jobs in aircraft manufacture and operations (including sustainable growth in airport capacity) beyond the consortium.
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