The deposition of ice on aircraft surfaces is a widespread problem that causes high costs and impairs functionality and safety, as it leads to higher energy consumption, increased drag, lower energy output, but also risk of damage and therefore risk of accidents.
Current solutions for the air cycle machines use a heating system on the downstream pipe to heat the surface, using electric resistance heaters or hot air coming from the compressor stage. Both solutions require high energy, hence the need to reduce energy consumption through the development of passive energy-saving solutions.
The aim of ERICE is to develop an improved eco-friendly and cost-effective hydrophobic/ice-phobic solution able to resist to ice erosion in a turbine scroll and its downstream pipe.
The first step is the implementation of an experimental test set-up at Cranfield University, reproducing the conditions of ice formation and accretion in the air-cycle-machine, which takes into account also surface deterioration due to erosion.
Existing super-hydrophobic solutions applicable inside the pipe surface will be screened using the innovative set-up and used as a baseline for new developments.
TECNALIA will be in charge of developing new solutions for Al alloys AA2024 and AS7G06 and PEEK surfaces. They will consist of super-hydrophobic surfaces achieved through sol-gel coatings combined with surface texturization treatments.
Scale-up issues (application of existing and new solutions on curved samples) will be also addressed and the surface treatments applied on technological samples (4”x4” pipes) for validation and comparison. Super-hydrophobic performance and erosion resistance of the surfaces will be assessed with the experimental set-up developed within ERICE.
The final tests will be also performed at the Topic Manager facilities on a complete Turbomachine.
In addition, an economic and ecological analysis for both existing and new coatings will be performed by QUANTIS.
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Funding SchemeCS2-RIA - Research and Innovation action