An Airbus backed European project could produce safer aircraft. Graphene is an ideal material to keep aircraft parts ice free, without affecting aerodynamic properties.

“If ice accumulates on the wings, propellers or other surfaces of an aircraft, control can be dangerously inhibited. Thermoelectric ice protection systems prevent this from happening, using an ultra-thin conductive coating layer to generate heat when current is applied.
 
Could existing technology for this application be improved? The graphene-based thermoelectric ice protection system (GICE) Spearhead Project, announced by the Graphene Flagship, is set to advance the technology readiness of graphene in thermoelectric ice protection systems.
 
Graphene is an ideal material to keep aircraft parts ice free, without affecting aerodynamic properties. Based on the work performed by various partners of the Graphene Flagship during earlier research phases, graphene-based ice protection systems are already in development, albeit at a low technology readiness level.
 
The goal of the newly launched GICE project is to advance these technologies to higher maturity by developing three technology demonstrators for specific use cases needed by key industrial partners, including Airbus and Sonaca.
 
Airbus is the largest European aerospace OEM and Sonaca is a strategic tier-1 supplier of components for Airbus, providing the ideal launch pad for the commercialisation of graphene-based ice protection systems.
 
“Thermoelectric ice protection technologies currently under investigation are based on carbon black, carbon rovings, carbon nanotubes, or metallic heating wires,” explained Fabien Dezitter, Icing expert at Airbus and GICE leader. “They all have advantages and disadvantages with respect to each other, but we expect that the graphene-based solution proposed by GICE could bundle most advantages of all thermoelectric solutions.
 
A system prototype demonstration tested in an icing wind tunnel by the end of the Spearhead Project in 2023.”

 
Read the full article Airbus-Backed European Project Could Produce Safer Aircraft

Source: The Graphene Council.

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