Considerations on the Use of Hydrophobic, Superhydrophobic or Icephobic Coatings as a Part of the Aircraft Ice Protection System
Ice adhesion on critical aircraft surfaces is a serious potential hazard that runs the risk of causing accidents. For this reason aircraft are equipped with active ice protection systems (AIPS). AIPS increase fuel consumption and add complexity to the aircraft systems. Reducing energy consumption of the AIPS or replacing the AIPS by a Passive Ice Protection System (PIPS), could significantly reduce aircraft fuel consumption. New coatings with superhydrophobic properties have been developed to reduce water adherence to surfaces. Superhydrophobic coatings can also reduce ice adhesion on surfaces and are used as icephobic coatings. The question is whether superhydrophobic or icephobic coatings would be able to reduce the cost associated with AIPS.