Spray-On 'Ice-Shedding' Coating Could Protect Cargo Ships, Airplanes, and Power Lines

Coatings developed at the University of Michigan could help researchers obtain the longtime goal of ice-proofing very large structures like cargo ships, airplanes, and power lines. The spray-on coatings cause ice to fall away from large areas with just the force of a light breeze. Previous ice-repellent coatings have worked well on small areas, but less effectively on very large surfaces. The key to the U-Mich engineers' new coating is its usage of low interfacial toughness (LIT). The concept of interfacial toughness is well known in the field of fracture mechanics, where it underpins products like adhesive-based aircraft joints. Until now, it hadn’t been applied to ice mitigation.