Using a technology known as Direct Laser Interference Patterning (DLIP), a research team at Fraunhofer IWS collaborated with project partners at Airbus and TU Dresden to develop a new process that creates complex, meandering surface structures at the micron- and submicron scale, with the effect of decreasing ice accumulation and accelerating de-icing.
Also, such a de-icing process requires 20 percent less heating energy. Other advantages of the new process are that it can reduce the required amount of environmentally harmful de-icing agents and the time passengers have to spend waiting for a plane to be de-iced. The same goes for in-flight power and fuel consumption. It can even reduce the aircraft’s total weight if smaller heating units are installed. This combination of these two effects has yet to be achieved with conventional technologies.