Ultrahydrophobic Coatings and Icephobic Coatings

Abstract/Technology Overview

Ultrahydrophobic coatings and icephobic coatings for passive anti-icing and other applications have been developed.

The ultrahydrophobic coatings can be applied on different surfaces, in order to avoid ice and snow accumulation in principle, but also to other applications in which the accumulation of humidity on the surface is a problem. They can be coatings based on polyurethane, polyacrylate or fluorinated polymers.

The icephobic coatings can reduce the adhesion of ice on the treated surface due to the reduction of the surface tension. They can be applied on different surfaces, in order to avoid ice and snow accumulation. These coatings are mainly based on polyurethane. They are based on the combination of grafts in the main chain of polyurethane.

Both coatings can be applied using spraying, roller and/or brush techniques.

Technology Features, Specifications and Advantages

Specifications for ultrahydrophobic coatings:
-    Contact angle: from 110-155º
-    Sliding angle from 5-15º

Ultrahydrophobic coatings are based on the following technologies:
-    Synthesis of silica nanoparticles with controlled size
-    Functionalisation of prepared silica nanoparticles
-    Development of novel formulations employing the functionalised silica nanoparticles
-    Development of specific dispersion technologies

Specifications for icephobic coatings:
-    Adhesion force reduction: 20-60% depending on formulation
-    Ice formation reduction: up to 80%
(note: wind tunnel test under cooling conditions)

Icephobic coatings are based on the following technologies:
-    Low energy polymers
-    Chemical grafting of polyurethane
-    Development of specific dispersion technologies

These ultrahydrophobic and icephobic coatings can be modified from existing coating formulations specific to each application.

Potential Applications

These coatings can be applicable, but not limited, to the following sectors:

For the aeronautic sector, the development of these new coatings help to avoid significant economic losses due to the extreme cold waves that can block aircrafts because of the phenomenon of ice accumulation. Moreover, it allows aircrafts to fly for a longer time under conditions of ice formation.

In the wind sector, it allows the increase in efficiency of a wind turbine under conditions of ice formation, since it delays the ice accumulation by maintaining the rotor under optimal conditions of energy production.

In the electric sector, it favours the reduction of the adhesion of ice present in the high voltage towers and associated cables, avoiding breakdowns of the power line due to the excess weight.

Customer Benefit

For the aeronautic sector, the main advantage lies in the reduction of the adhesion force of ice and its formation. Users can save costs by replacing certain heavy anti-icing systems with lighter ones. They will have to implement the application of the coating only on the required parts. Low energy anti-icing systems are also available.

In terms of manufacturers of coatings for diverse applications, they only have to make minimal adaptions to their manufacturing process in order to obtain a novel product not present in the market, in other words, through slight modifications in their manufacturing system, they obtain a considerable benefit thanks to the innovative coatings development.

Technology Owner

Jose Antonio Costa Mocholi



Technology Category
  • Coatings/Paints
  • Inorganic
  • Polymers/Plastic
  • Nano Materials
  • Polymers
Technology Status
  • Available for Licensing
Technology Readiness Level
  • TRL 7

ultrahydrophobic, icephobic, coating, aeronautics, electric