The overall aim of the EIROS project is to develop a range of composite materials based on a resin system containing nano-particles that add functionality (ice and erosion resistance) to components in extreme environments. The activity of the functional molecules at the surface is maintained and replenished by a combination of dispersion and self-healing technologies giving increased performance over an extended period. The proposed approach addresses the current industrial limitations and builds on the class-leading expertise of the partnership.
The current state-of-the-art uses nanotechnology in two distinct ways; firstly, the use of nanoparticles dispersed within a resin to improve the impact and mechanical performance of the composite and secondly as a coating technology to improve the erosion resistance or create some other desirable surface property.
The EIROS project will integrate these two approaches by engineering nanoparticles with attached functional groups; one functional group will increase the effectiveness of the particles interaction with the matrix, improving particle dispersion, impact performance and other mechanical properties. A second functional group will remain unreacted in the resin imparting the desired texture at the surface and enabling a consistent superhydrophic low energy surface. The silica nanoparticles and enhanced cross linking will deliver the enhanced erosion performance.