Anti-icing Coatings

© Fraunhofer IFAM

Icing chamber for studying anti-icing coatings

© Fraunhofer IFAM

Rime test on surfaces in the icing chamber at Fraunhofer IFAM

© Fraunhofer IFAM

Ice lab with integrated wind tunnel

The icing of surfaces is a widespread problem that incurs high costs and can impair the functioning and safety of, for example, aircraft, ships, rail vehicles, cars, cooling and ventilation systems, and wind turbines.

The Paint/Lacquer Technology experts at Fraunhofer IFAM develop tailored coating systems for specific technical tasks. Chemists, coating technologists, biologists, and technicians work closely with industry and other R&D partners to develop customized and effective solutions. Examples include:

  • Heatable coatings and their integration into multifunctional coating systems
  • Coatings with low water wetting and low ice adhesion (hydrophobic)
  • Incorporation of freezing point depressors into coatings
  • Use of peptides from anti-freeze proteins

The effectiveness of anti-icing coatings is studied at Fraunhofer IFAM using specifically developed test methods for realistic conditions. This includes our own icing chamber to simulate rime formation and freezing rain. In addition, tests on ice adhesion are undertaken. A new laboratory with an integrated icing tunnel for simulating typical scenarios encountered, for example, by aircraft and wind turbines was inaugurated in 2014.