CORDIS - EU research results

Sustainable Smart De-Icing by Surface Engineering of Acoustic Waves

Project description

Acoustic waves as a novel solution for de-icing of industrial facilities

Icing on surfaces is a regular phenomenon that can result in catastrophic events and heavily affects the performance of industrial facilities. The EU-funded SOUNDofICE project is bringing together anti-icing specialists, materials scientists and engineers to test whether high frequency (MHz-order) surface acoustic waves can be used to remove ice from surfaces in a smart and sustainable way. To that end, the project will work on a solution based on the surface engineering of acoustic waves capable of working in harsh conditions at a minimum energetic cost. Specifically, it will develop models of surface wave atom excitation of ice aggregates and integrate acoustic transducers into large areas. Overall, the project aims to show how its de-icing strategy beats current methods. The technology will be tested and its future transfer to key EU players in aeronautics, renewable energy and household appliances will be reviewed.


Icing on surfaces is commonplace in nature and industry and too often causes catastrophic events. SOUNDofICE ultimate goal is to overcome costly and environmentally harmful de-icing methods with a pioneering strategy based on the surface engineering of MHz Acoustic Waves for a smart and sustainable removal of ice. This technology encompasses the autonomous detection and low-energy-consuming removal of accreted ice on any material and geometry. For the first time, both detection and de-icing will share the same operating principle. The visionary research program covers modeling of surface wave atom excitation of ice aggregates, integration of acoustic transducers on large areas and the development of surface engineering solutions to stack micron-size interdigitated electrodes together with different layers providing efficient wave propagation, anti-icing capacity, and aging resistance. We will demonstrate that this de-icing strategy surpasses existing methods in performance, multifunctionality and capacity of integration on industrially relevant substrates as validated with proof of concept devices suited for the aeronautic and wind power industries. SOUNDofICE high-risks will be confronted by a strongly interdisciplinary team from five academic centers covering both the fundamental and applied aspects. Two SMEs with first-hand experience in icing will be in charge of testing this technology and its future transfer to key EU players in aeronautics, renewable energy, and household appliances. An Advisory Board incorporating relevant companies will contribute to an effective dissemination and benchmarking. Flexibility of the R&D plan, multidisciplinarity and assistance of the AdB guarantee the success of this proposal, bringing up a unique opportunity for young academia leaders and SMEs from five different countries to strengthen the EU position on a high fundamental and technological impact field, just on the moment when the climate issues are of maxima importance

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 865 619,00
28006 Madrid

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Comunidad de Madrid Comunidad de Madrid Madrid
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 1 004 916,50

Participants (8)