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News & Resources

Ice-phobic Coatings on Controlled and Covered Surfaces

Ice buildup on aircraft surfaces is dangerous and can cause serious problems. The lifting surfaces of helicopters and other vertical lift vehicles are typically under a lot of stress and can, therefore, benefit greatly from coatings that improve the release of ice. In events of ice buildup, silicone’s ability to remain elastic at low temperatures has proven extremely valuable. Results from instances of the Zero Degree Cone Test, which measures the force required to push a coated pin out of a frozen ice block, show that silicone promotes very low ice adhesion compared to other materials. Further characterization of silicone’s de-icing qualities in an experimental test by NuSil Technology adds support for this material as a high-performing, highly competitive ice-phobic coating. This test evaluated specially formulated silicone ice-phobic coatings by quantifying the adhesion strength of ice to coated aluminum panels using an ice adhesion fixture and MTS machine.