Israeli nanotechnology researchers claim to have developed a surface coating capable of preventing ice accumulation on plastic aircraft surfaces.

Professor Hana Dodiuk of the Shenkar College of Engineering says that tests on clear plastic show the self-cleaning, ultra-hydrophobic coating has a very low surface energy that reduces ice adhesion by 20 times compared with untreated surfaces. She adds that a commercial available material could be made available "in a relatively short time".

The goal of the Shenkar work is to improve on anti-icing techniques involving fluids that depress water's freezing point, but are environmentally hazardous, or coatings based on silicone or fluoro-based polymers that have relatively low durability as they do not adhere well to plastic.

Source: Flight International