If you are the new owner of an airplane and plan to operate it in the winter, then you need to learn about deicers and anti-icers and how they differ. Flying an airplane with ice on its wings is very hazardous and could turn deadly. That is why the commercial aviation industry relies on deicing and anti-icing fluids from places likes GMCO Corporation to keep their airplanes safe for pilots and passengers, and you should to. What is the different between airplane deicers and anti-icers? Read on to learn the difference along with some new airplane deicing technologies that are being developed.
Airplane Deicers: Melting Ice That is Already on the Plane
Airplane deicers melt the ice that is already present on a plane and prepare it for the application of an anti-icer. There are only a few deicing agents that can be used on airplanes, because many deicing chemicals that are used for other purposes can corrode the metal surface of the plane.
While the additional ingredients in the various types of airplane deicers made today vary, they all include a high percentage of either propylene glycol, ethylene glycol, or a combination of the two. This ingredient alone lowers the freezing point of the water the ice on the airplane is made up of, which melts it quickly.
Additional ingredients in deicing fluids vary, but can include surfactants, pH buffers, and polymers.
Airplane Anti-icers: Prevent the Formation of More Ice
Once the layer of ice on an airplane is melted by deicing agents, anti-icer can then be applied to stop the formation of new ice. While deicers are thin liquids designed to flow off the surface of the airplane as soon as the ice is melted, anti-icers are thicker and meant to stick onto the surface of the plane to form a slight shield that prevents new ice from forming.
Airplane anti-icers also contain a large percentage of proylene glycol and/or ethylene glycol, but unlike deicers, they contain a hefty amount of a polymer that adheres to the surface of the plane.
New Airplane Deicing Technologies Being Developed
While chemical deicing agents are not great for the environment, they are currently embraced due to their ability to keep airline passengers and staff safe during flight in the winter. However, scientists are currently looking for new ways to keep airplanes ice-free.
One group of scientists has developed a deicing technology that consists of a fine film that covers an aircraft and secretes a non-toxic liquid film that makes the airplane surface too slick for ice to form on it. Others are experimenting with using heat or special light technology to melt ice on airplanes and prevent future formation.
If you are the new owner of an airplane, then realize that you will need a deicer and anti-icer to apply to it if you plan to fly it in the winter. Understand the difference between the two and how both are important for keeping airplanes safe for pilots and passengers in freezing temperatures.