Anti-Icing solutions for a changing world

With global climate change in full flow, the world’s weather patterns are fundamentally distorting from the norm. Increasingly extreme weather events, such as the polar vortex that hit North America in early 2019, are putting pressure on industry sectors such as Aviation in a way previously unheard of.

Keeping transport moving is an-ever growing challenge, and the icing up of aircraft is still a huge challenge for both airports and airlines alike. Passenger safety and the cost of delays continue to be a focus, but in the case of the latter show no signs of reducing.

So in 2017 a consortium led by Sharc Matter’s parent company, Opus Materials Technologies, set out to tackle this issue. We are developing a passive ice-repellent coating, based on SMS technology, called IceMart, that will automatically prevent ice particles from forming on aircraft, thus eliminating the need for laborious and expensive ice-management processes, which are the main cause of delays and disruption.

 

Working closely with our partners CAV UK, TWI and two of the world’s largest aerospace organisations, we are continuing with ice-tunnel testing and a recent test can be seen below.

 

 

This ground-breaking coating offers the potential to save hundreds of lives by reducing the risk of fatal accidents caused by ice shedding. It’s also expected to significantly reduce industrial O&M costs by removing the need for hundreds of millions of litres of de-icing fluid, as well as contribute to annual savings of around £7billion in fuel consumption.