Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram Visit the TPC Store
Search the site




Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

Gel-Based Coating Fights Off Ice

Monday, November 21, 2016

Comment | More

Researchers at Colorado State University believe they have made a breakthrough in the realm of anti-icing coatings with the invention of a new ice-repellent coating they claim outperforms today’s best de-icing products.

A team led by Arun Kota, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering, created a coating that is said to be one that is environmentally friendly, inexpensive and long lasting, the university announced Thursday (Nov. 17).

The new coating could play a role in keeping everything from cars and ships to planes and power lines ice-free, it added.

Soft, Gel-based Coating

The team’s ice-repellent coating is described as a gel-based, soft coating made out of PDMS (polydimethylsiloxane), a silicone polymer gel with already widespread industrial use.

ice crystals
Colorado State University

Researchers at Colorado State University say they have created an environmentally friendly, inexpensive, long-lasting ice-repellent coating that could find a place in keeping cars, ships, planes and power lines free of ice.

In describing the difference between de-icing and anti-icing coatings, Kota explains that anti-icers delay the formation of ice, while de-icers facilitate easy removal of ice after it has already formed and stuck to a surface.

The liquid de-icers (ethylene glycol or propylene glycol) typically sprayed on frozen planes before takeoff work pretty well, the team says, adding that the spraying of salts or glycols is the most common passive de-icing technique used today. The aviation industry alone uses more than 20 million gallons of de-icing chemicals each year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

However, these liquid products have to be applied over and over again, and leach into groundwater, raising environmental concerns

Kota’s team’s innovation, he says, could provide an environmentally friendly, high-performance alternative to the use of toxic liquid de-icers, as it would be applied as a more permanent protective coating.

“We think there is significant commercial potential here,” Kota notes.

Ice Adhesion Testing

To test its effectiveness, they relied on experiments that involved careful analysis of ice adhesion mechanics.

The performance measure of de-icing coatings is called ice adhesion strength—that is, the shear stress necessary to remove ice from a surface, which is measured in kilopascals (kPa). The pascal is a unit of pressure used to quantify internal pressure, stress and tensile strength.

Kota’s group demonstrated an ice adhesion strength of about 5 kPa for its coating. By contrast, soft coatings available on the market have an ice adhesion strength of about 40 kPa—lower is better, Kota clarified.

Other types of de-icing coatings made of rigid materials like Teflon typically perform at around 100 kPa, he added.

Their research was published this month in Journal of Materials Chemistry A.


Tagged categories: Aerospace; Aviation; Coatings Technology; Colleges and Universities; Industrial coatings; Marine Coatings; Power; Research and development

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America
Performance Amine 1,3-BAC
A highly reactive cycloaliphatic diamine offering superior performance. Reasonable cost and curing efficacy makes it suitable for all types of epoxy resin applications.

Carboline Company
New product: Carbozinc® 608 HB
Introducing a new high build zinc-rich primer that can save you time and money by eliminating the epoxy intermediate coat!

SABRE Autonomous Solutions
The ALPHA1 provides a consistent finish day-in
day-out; job to job.

Novatek Corporation
Dustless Coatings Removal
Novatek Corporation, Dustless Coatings Removal Strip, clean and profile all dust free! Comply with new lead standards. Contact today: (866) 563-7800

HoldTight Solutions Inc.
Full Surface Protection for Up to One Year
HT 365 is a preservation, single component, anti-corrosive coating, a water displacing agent, a lubricant, and a penetrating fluid. It creates an imperceptible thin-film coating that offers excellent salt contaminant and humidity protection. Contact your HoldTight® representative or visit for more information.

Tarps manufacturing, Inc.
QUALITY MADE IN AMERICA —Available near you!
CLICK to get a behind-the-scenes look at how Tarps Manufacturing makes the highest-quality tarps right here in the USA — available nationwide.

ARC / A.W. Chesterton Company
Rapid Curing Coating
Cures under adverse conditions with maximum adhesion

US Minerals
Blast with the best
The most effective blasting media on the market, Black Diamond hits harder and cleans faster.

Jotun Paints Inc.
Jotun Jotachar 1709
Mesh-free passive fire protection epoxy designed to protect against hydrocarbon pool fire scenarios for up to four hours as defined in the ANSI/UL1709 standard.

New resins from BASF will have metals loving water!
Excellent corrosion resistance, low VOC, high gloss, thin films 800-231-7868


Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL

The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy Policy   |   Terms & Conditions   |   Support   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us