In the late 1990s, NASA Ames Research Center in California invented an anti-icing fluid that kept ice from building up on airplane wings. The fluid, when applied to a dry surface, prevented the ice from even forming a surface bond; if applied before ice formed, it served as a deicer. The formula contains propylene glycol, which has a very low freezing point, and a thickener that helps it adhere to the surface. Ice gathers on top of the surface, and can be wiped off with little effort.
The spray eliminates the need to wait for car defrosters to thaw the ice, and ends the scraping and chipping of ice on the windshield. One swipe of the windshield wipers clears windshields treated with the fluid, and one stroke with a squeegee clears other windows and mirrors. It also serves as a deicer — if the fluid is not applied before the ice sets, it can be sprayed directly on the ice, helping it to thaw.
Visit www.worldsourceinc.net for more information on Ice Free. To learn more about this and other NASA spinoffs, visit www.sti.nasa.gov/tto/Spinoff2006/index.html.