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News & Resources

A Silicone-Based Ice-Phobic Coating for Aircraft

The problem of ice build-up in an engine or on the leading edges of a plane is a significant problem in the aircraft industry. Ice build up can affect many aspects of flying such as lift, drag, and thrust. Under the direction of Pratt & Whitney in 2004, the Department of the Army, Engineer Research and Development Center, Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) in Hanover, NH, U.S, performed adhesion strength tests designed to measure the adhesion strength of ice to several different commercially available ice-phobic coatings. The results show that the silicone material, R-2180, dropped the adhesion strength by a factor of 40 over bare steel and aluminum surfaces. These results were the lowest mean failure stress that CRREL has ever seen at 37 kPa while Teflon was previously the lowest tested value measured at 238 kP