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Elemental Coatings, Ghasemi receives $750k grant for 'icephobic' coatings

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Stephen Greenwell
A visual example of the effect that the “icephobic” application from Elemental Coatings has when it comes to repelling ice buildup.
A visual example of the effect that the “icephobic” application from Elemental Coatings has when it comes to repelling ice buildup.

The company founded by a professor at the University of Houston's Cullen College of Engineering has received a $750,000 grant from the Air Force Research Laboratory to continue refining “icephobic” coatings for their aircraft, through a collaboration with Boeing.

The grant is another for Dr. Hadi Ghasemi, an associate professor of Mechanical Engineering, who has focused on ice mitigation efforts for aircraft with his recent research. The grant, “Novel Icephobic Coatings for Aircrafts,” will be handled by Ghasemi and Elemental Coatings, a corporation established for his lab's commercial work.

According to the grant proposal, surface icing is a problem that can adversely affect aviation systems, like aircraft and drones, as well as monitoring devices on the surface. The market for anti-icing surfaces surpasses $2 billion each year.

“Elemental Coatings has developed advanced anti-icing coatings that are currently in use across a number of industries,” Ghasemi wrote. “As part of this effort in collaboration with Boeing Co., the primary goal is to advance our coatings for Air Force Aircrafts. In this way, our coating will function virtually identically to existing coatings, but with the additional property of minimizing ice adhesion to the surface. As a result, our coating will be compatible with existing procedures and equipment that are already in place and in use – this greatly simplifies adoption of our product for both military and commercial applications.”

This is the second grant that Ghasemi has received in the last six months for his work on anti-icing surfaces. He also received $150,000 from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory for another proposal, “Ice Shedding Coatings for Aircrafts.”

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