Carbon-Nanotube Coating Stops Icing on Aircraft

March 2, 2010
Carbon-nanotube coating stops icing on aircraft.
Battelle Memorial Institute, www.

Icing on aircraft present a danger on all sorts of aircraft. For example, it’s estimated 12% of military UAV flights have been cancelled due to icing conditions. Traditionally, the way to solve this problem is with bleed-air systems that heat the leading edge of the wing to melt ice, mechanical boots that inflate to break off ice, or weeping-wing devices that release antifreeze onto the wings. But these approaches are too complex or heavy for UAVs, and can draw too much power. A new approach developed by engineers at the Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus, Ohio, involves coating at-risk surfaces with carbon nanotubes using simple and inexpensive painting methods. The coating, which weighs 1% of current ice-protection schemes, is energized by the aircraft’s electrical system. This heats the nanotubes and stops ice from forming or gets rid of any ice that has. The technology could also find use windmill blades ice-free.

Sponsored Recommendations

Pumps Push the Boundaries of Low Temperature Technology

June 14, 2024
As an integral part of cryotechnology, KNF pumps facilitate scientific advances in cryostats, allowing them to push temperature boundaries and approach absolute zero.

The entire spectrum of drive technology

June 5, 2024
Read exciting stories about all aspects of maxon drive technology in our magazine.


May 15, 2024
Production equipment is expensive and needs to be protected against input abnormalities such as voltage, current, frequency, and phase to stay online and in operation for the ...

Solenoid Valve Mechanics: Understanding Force Balance Equations

May 13, 2024
When evaluating a solenoid valve for a particular application, it is important to ensure that the valve can both remain in state and transition between its de-energized and fully...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Machine Design, create an account today!