Last December 2017, the project HELADA was completed with the final consortium meeting at INTA’s facilities.
During the project HELADA, durable coatings preventing or minimizing the formation of ice were developed. Moreover, work was done to develop behaviour characterization tools for materials in different ice formation situations.
The formation of ice is particularly critical for aircrafts and, for this reason, there are systems preventing its formation or favouring the melting, which were developed to prevent or reduce its formation in structures. Most of these technologies require a continuous contribution of hot air, chemical products, electricity or the use of inflatable membranes breaking the ice on the leading edge of wings.
However, there is a more attractive solution, the modification of the structure’s surface to reduce or eliminate the formation of ice, which could be used in combination with conventional methods, thus mitigating the weight and energy requirements they involve.
In order to meeting the target, innovative solutions based on the use of controlled-size nanosilica, perfluoroalkyl silanes, fluoropolymers and other derivatives to improve the coating’s hydrophobicity and roughness. Likewise, synthesis procedures for nanomaterials and polymers have been developed, which can be used for anti-icing applications in sectors such as the aeronautics, nautical, energy and construction sector, among others.
This strategy has been developed among the project HELADA and INTA, AIN, AIMPLAS and the University of Navarra have taken part, in active collaboration with BOEING and NTS.