GKN Aerospace Patents new Ice Accretion Test Device

Swifter and less costly than wind tunnel testing Enables effective early assessment of new ice-phobic coatings

Issue 71 - November 2016

GKN Aerospace has patents approved covering a new ‘benchtop’ ice adhesion test device which incorporates apparatus to simulate icing conditions and then determine ice adhesion in situ. This will enable swifter, less costly assessment of promising ice phobic coatings and other ice protection technologies.

Russ Dunn, Senior Vice President, Engineering & Technology, GKN Aerospace, explains: “Effective ice protection, including ice phobic coatings, is a key focus for aerospace, as preventing ice accretion is a critical safety requirement. Efficient ice protection systems lower power consumption, improving aircraft efficiency and lowering emissions. To date, the most comprehensive method for measuring and understanding the ice phobic nature of a surface is through icing tests using a wind tunnel. These require large, dedicated wind tunnel facilities, making them costly and impractical for regular use as a development tool, or for batch quality control in production.”