MIT has developed an experimental technology for passive de-icing of surfaces. Fighting freezing water (for example, on the wings of aircraft or helicopter propellers) is planned using the energy of light, both solar and artificial. The system has no moving parts, no controls, nothing at all except a few innovative materials.
The new anti-freeze protection looks like a thin three-layer film. The most massive part, the aluminum heat exchanger, is only 400 micrometers thick. Under it is a layer of thermal insulation and a mounting surface, and on top everything is covered with a unique proprietary material. MIT does not disclose its name and composition, only describe its properties: this substance absorbs 95% of the light incident on it, converting the energy of the movement of photons into thermal energy.
The principle of operation is simple: if you shine a flashlight on the anti-icing coating, the top layer will first heat up at the point of contact, which will then transfer heat to a wide aluminum circuit, which in turn will heat the adjacent surface. The ice will not melt, the power of this passive installation is too low, but a thin layer of water forms between it and the coating. As a result, the ice loses its adhesion to the surface, becomes brittle and can fall apart when vibrated - instead of a dangerous ice crust on an airplane wing or road, we simply get a very cold water accumulation.
The materials on which everything is based are still kept secret. The authors of the technology claim that their tests are successful, including tests in the open air.