The PHOBIC2ICE project is designing materials with anti-icing properties suitable for the development of a more sustainable and energy-efficient coating systems that prevent ice accretion on the surfaces of vital aircraft mechanisms. The accretion of ice represents a significant problem for aircraft, as the presence of even a scarcely visible layer can severely limit the function of wings, propellers, windshields, antennas, vents, intakes and cowlings.
The project aims to develop technologies for avoiding or mitigating this phenomenon. By applying an innovative approach to simulation and modelling, it will enable the design and fabrication of icephobic surfaces with improved functionalities. This knowledge will give a better understanding of the ice accretion process on different coatings and modified surfaces. The proposed solution will be environmentally friendly, will reduce energy consumption, and will eliminate the need for frequent on-ground de-icing procedures. This in turn will reduce pollution, cost, and flight delays.
Several ice protection technologies are presently in use, but most of them have inherent negative effects such as high energy consumption, increased weight, a negative environmental impact, and the need for frequent reapplication among others. Surface engineering can provide a better alternative by reducing or eliminating ice accumulation. An attractive approach to this issue is the development of icephobic coatings and/or treated surfaces that can sufficiently reduce water adhesion and slow down ice creation.
The PHOBIC2ICE's intercontinental research consortium consists of five Canadian and four European partners (Germany, Poland and Spain). Two large industrial partners (Airbus Germany and Pratt & Whitney Canada), as well as two Canadian SMEs (Plasmionique and Dema Aeronautics) are involved. The research backbone of the project is formed by Concordia University and Polytechnique Montréal (both from Montreal), the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), National Institute for Aerospace Technology (INTA - Spain) and The Technology Partners Foundation (Poland).