Anti-icing coatings reduce damage caused by ice
The formation of ice on the rotor blades of wind turbines results in aerodynamic imbalance.
Coatings ensure that water remains liquid
In order to prevent damage, either the rotor blades must be heated or the wind turbine must be shut down. To tackle this issue, the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB has developed a number of anti-icing coatings suitable for polymer surfaces. These water-repelling microstructured and nanostructured coatings ensure that any water remains a liquid, even at temperatures below zero, resulting in a 90% reduction in ice adhesion compared to uncoated surfaces.
Water gets no crystallisation nuclei
The trick: The surfaces provide the water molecules with no crystallisation nuclei. Plasma technology is used to deposit the structured coatings onto plastic films made of impact-resistant polyurethane (PU). The coatings are not only of interest for wind turbines: these functional surfaces can also be applied to aircraft wings and solar panels. Furthermore, anti-icing coatings can also be directly applied to fabrics and plastics, for example for winter sports clothing, tents, and other outdoor articles.