Innovative Concepts for Non-Thermal Based Anti-Icing/De-Icing of Rotor Blade Leading Edges

Period of Performance: 07/14/2008 - 02/14/2009


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Akron AIR Materials, LLC
411 Wolf Ledges Pkwy, Suite 105
Akron, OH 44311
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

University of Akron
284 Polsky Building
Akron, OH 44325
Institution POC


This proposal aims at the development of a low-power deicing system using the newly developed magnetostrictive alloy as functional materials, namely the Ni-Mn-Ga alloy. Present studies have shown that the Ni-Mn-Ga smart alloy does not require excessive input power to operate while an impulsive strain of over 5% can be generated under a load of over 1 Mpa. When power is applied to the solenoid around the functional material, strain is produced by the Martensitic transformation of the alloy and will exhibit a sudden volumetric expansion resulting in a substantial impulsive force. Finite element models will be generated to determine the necessary impulse force/strain required to de-bond the accreted ice. By installing actuators in series along the rotor blade structure and activated sequentially, surface accreted ice can be de-bonded effectively. As the surface area of leading edge in the rotor blade is relatively small, miniaturized design and fabrication technologies will be applied to fabricate the de-icing devices to be attached to the blade surface. While the proposed deicing system will be jointly developed by the University of Akron and Akron Air Materials, LLC., the prototype will be tested in the icing wind tunnel at Goodrich Deicing Division.