Anti-Ice Coating Development for Aviation

Ice accumulation continues to be an unsolved and costly challenge across industries ranging from energy to infrastructure and transportation. AST’s proprietary additive packages have shown promising initial results in a variety of coating systems for the reduction of ice adhesion forces. Thanks to support from a recently awarded U.S. Air Force SBIR contract, AST is now further developing this innovative technology into a solution for icing within military and commercial aviation.

Developed from Existing, Proven, and Proprietary AST Technology

SBIR Project Summary, from AST’s successful pitch to AFWERX

AST’s anti-ice coating development is based on additives from our existing non-toxic marine coating that was commercially launched in 2019. Our SLIPS® Foul Protect™ coating reduces the adhesion and persistence of unwanted biological fouling by creating heterogeneous surfaces that strongly interact with and hold sea water. The presence of multiple chemistries on the surface, in addition to the surface ambiguity created by hydration, confuses organisms like barnacles that would otherwise attach to the surface. These same properties make it difficult for ice to strongly adhere by disrupting nucleation and crystal growth at the interface. It may even be possible to delay frost formation.

AST is fine-tuning these solutions for anti-ice problem sets, currently optimizing properties for frost resistance as well as application-specific longevity.  By combining a mechanically durable low surface energy binder system with AST’s patented self-stratifying additives, a functional coating with strong anti-ice properties can be created while maintaining robust mechanical properties.

The average and standard deviation of the maximum load at delamination for each of the three SLIPS coatings.
Values for Teflon coatings are included for reference.

AST is welcoming additional partners who are interested in evaluating our prototype anti-ice technology in commercially relevant applications. For more information, please contact us at: ice@adaptivesurface.tech