ESR 9: Optimisation of hybrid ice protection systems based on coatings and electromechanical actuators

ISAE-SUPAERO, Toulouse (France)

Researcher: Giulia Gastaldo

Supervisor: Valerie Pommier-Budinger

Project goals:

The project concerns the design of low power ice protection systems integrating industrial constraints of the aeronautics sector (weight, consumption, fatigue and impact resistance). The subject is of interest to aircraft manufacturers and system suppliers since ice protection systems are the second power consumer among non-propulsive systems in medium-haul and long-haul aircraft. The results of the project can be extended to other sectors such as wind turbines.

The project will include different tasks:

Preliminary results

  1. State of the art on de-icing mechanisms.
  2. Measure of the critical energy release rate of different substrates (composite and metallic, bare and coated)

Theoretical developments

  1. Investigation and modelling of initiation and propagation of cohesive and adhesive fractures in ice.
  2. Analysis of de-icing mechanisms for: different types of ice (rime, glaze), composite and metallic substrates, different ice and substrates shapes, different coatings.
  3. Development of a design methodology for hybrid ice protection system based on passive ice protection systems (coatings) and active ice protection systems (electromechanical systems). The foreseen methodology is based on fracture propagation models as well on topology optimisation to design simultaneously the ice protection systems and the substrate to achieve substantial gains.


  1. Development of prototypes
  2. Testing in an icing-wind tunnel and confrontation of experimental data with theoretical results.