EU - SURFICE - Smart surface design for efficient ice protection and control

Project: Research project

Project Details


Icing affects the operational safety of much of our transport and general infrastructure. Although in the last decade there have been promising advancements in surface engineering and materials science, to achieve an effective and sustainable anti-icing technology requires that the physical processes involved in icing are better understood and applied to a rational design of anti-icing surfaces and systems. Furthermore, the arrival of hybrid or fully-electric engines, requires that new technologies also be developed for ice protection purposes suited to these new aircraft types. Already today, all new electric urban air mobility and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) developers and start-ups are experiencing difficulties in finding icing and inclement weather specialists. This is because such training is very specialized and the required skills take years to develop. SURFICE will address both aspects. 13 talented early stage researchers will be trained by an international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral consortium of experts in materials and surface science, physics and engineering. The project will address three major research objectives: (i) investigate icing physics on complex surfaces to understand and model ice formation, accretion and adhesion; (ii) achieve rational design for anti-icing materials and coatings based on a novel concept of discontinuity-enhanced icephobicity; and (iii) develop new technologies for efficient ice prevention and control. The proposed anti-icing solutions will be directly applied in aeronautics, energy systems and sensor technologies, as well as glass manufacturing and automotive industry through industrial partners. Intertwining surface science and engineering will benefit icing research, but also other innovative emerging technologies, where surface phenomena play a crucial role. Training on scientific, transferable and entrepreneurial skills will complete the CVs of the young researchers providing an innovation-oriented mind-set.
Effective start/end date1/01/2131/12/24


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