Volume 5, Number 4 July/August 1997
NASA-DEVELOPED FLUID WILL MAKE FLYING safer without introducing dangerous chemicals into the environment. It also may reduce rust and corrosion on cars.
Ice buildup on airplanes is eliminated with Ames Research Center's non-toxic fluid, which is so environmentally safe it has been referred to as "food grade" because its ingredients have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in food. Leonard Haslim, John Zuk and Robert Lockyer invented the fluid, which contains propylene glycol, a food grade substance.
|In keeping with one of NASA's major goals, the new fluid can also increase flight safety. The beaker of the fluid is on the wing of a Lear jet.|
"The food grade anti-icing fluid works as well as, or better than available fluids, and it is the only one that is non-toxic and totally biodegradable," said Haslim.
"When you look at the high costs of rust and other salt damage to cars, bridges, roads, and the environment, it is obvious that using this new anti-icing fluid can save a lot of money," Haslim said. "You can even spray the stuff on your windshield the night before you go to work, and the next morning, the wiper blades will easily push the ice completely off the glass."
|Inventors Leonard Haslim and John Zuk display NASA Ames "Food Grade".|
About a half a billion gallons of aircraft de-icing fluid are used annually worldwide. The anti-icing fluid grabs onto an airplane's surface better than current fluids when a plane is at rest. "Our new fluid produces a long-lasting barrier to ice build-up. But when the plane takes off, the fluid suddenly gets thinner, and it blows away so the wings are clean and have plenty of lift force as the plane rises," said Lockyer.
"I compare the green-colored fluid to lime sherbet when it is on the wing and limeade when the plane is moving," said Haslim.
The new fluid is neutral, neither an acid nor a base, and is non-conductive. It appears to be harmless to aircraft, pavement, bridges and vehicles, Haslim said. "It should not hurt plants."
The Air Force's Wright Laboratory sponsored development and test work on the new fluid. The Army Corps of Engineers' Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory is testing the fluid for use on highways, bridges, railways, canals and transportation and communications structures.
For more information about the anti-icing fluid, contact Dr. Leonard Haslim at Ames Research Center.
Call 415/604-6575 Fax: 415/604-6996 or the National Technology Center Call 800/678-6882
Please mention you read about it in Innovation.