The IceMan project aims to develop waterborne polyurethane coatings using different methods to fulfil requirements of icephobicity. Applying an innovative approach to simulation and modelling should make it possible to design and fabricate icephobic surfaces with improved functionalities. It should also give a better understanding of the ice accretion process on different coatings and modified surfaces, which in turn is expected to provide the ability to develop durable and effective surfaces with icephobic features sufficiently reducing water and ice adhesion as well as slowing down ice nucleation, thereby enabling supercooled water droplets landing on the surface to be removed before freezing.
The proposed developments will constitute a good alternative for the presently used electro-thermal active systems, reducing or eliminating the need to consume electric power in order to achieve the de-icing effect. Taking into consideration future application in industrial environments, all methods will meet demands regarding economy, environmentally friendly practices and industrial-scale applicability.
The IceMan project is the three-year collaboration (total budget: 6,4 MPLN corresponding to 1,4 MEUR) being carried out within the POLNOR Programme funded under Norway Funds. The project is coordinated by Technology Partners (www.technologypartners.pl), with SINTEF (www.sintef.no) and Funzionano AS (www.funzionano.com) as the Norwegian partners in addition to MSP InnTech sp. z o.o. – a leading Polish developer of 0,5-150 kg class UAVs (www.uav.com.pl).
SINTEF leads WP1 "Development and synthetization of chemical additives and hybrid materials with functional surface modifications" that aims at material development according to partners’ recipes on chemical additives based on novel modified hybrid materials based on polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxanes (POSS) functionalized with different hydrophobic groups to be especially tailored for coatings derived from waterborne polyurethane (PU) formulation(s) resulting in lower surface energy and decreased interfacial toughness with ice and thus reducing ice adhesion and accretion that will be tested in WP2.
In WP4 "Modelling of droplet-surface interface in different conditions" SINTEF will develop a deeper understanding of the properties determining the strength of ice adhesion to surfaces created from standard industrial coatings and the novel coatings developed in WP1-3. In particular, the effects of chemical and topographic modifications to the coatings will be studied to reveal their correlation to the static (ice-surface interface energy, surface energy, adhesion, and water droplet contact angle) and dynamic (roll-off angle, freezing delay) properties.
As the leader of WP5 "Heating system upscaling and evaluation of its efficiency with anti-icing coatings – proof of concept", SINTEF will combine the knowledge acquired from IceMan developments on novel coatings by testing the anti-icing efficiency on NACA0012 standard aerofoil profiles equipped with an active heating system in an ice wind tunnel as well as in-flight tests to verify anti-icing performance.
The ICEMAN project (2020-2023) is a Polish-Norwegian research cooperation funded under the EEA and Norway Grants scheme (NOR/POLNOR/IceMan/0061/2019). For more info, see the projects homepage.
The programme for applied research is administered by the National Centre for Research and Development in Warsaw (NCBR). The Research Council of Norway is a partner in the research programme and serves in an advisory capacity.