Coating systems based on titanium nitride (TiN) applied via cathodic arc physical vapor deposition (CA-PVD) were developed for rotorcraft erosion caps to protect against sand and rain erosion. Erosion resistant materials must also be compatible with ice protection systems. The ice adhesion strength performance of titanium nitride and titanium aluminum nitride (TiAlN) are evaluated experimentally and compared to the ice adhesion strength of uncoated metallic materials currently used on rotor blade leading edge caps: stainless steel 430, Inconel 625, and titanium grade 2. Experimental studies presented in this paper investigate which environmental and material parameters are most influential on impact ice adhesion strength. The effects of median volumetric diameter, liquid water content, ambient temperature, surface roughness, and material grain direction were tested on stainless steel 430. Tests revealed that surface roughness and temperature have the greatest effect on ice adhesion strength. There was an increase in adhesion strength of 670% from -8°C to -16°C and 250% increase from 24 Ra μin to 105 Ra μin. An increase in water droplet size from 20 μm to 40 μm decreased the ice adhesion strength by 65%. The adhesion strength increased 15% when shear forces were applied 90° with respect to the grain direction as compared to a 0° loading configuration. While inside the Federal Aviation Regulation Part 25 and Part 29 Appendix C icing envelop for liquid water content, an increase from 0.5 to 2 g/m3 had a 7% reduction in ice adhesion strength. A test matrix to evaluate ice adhesion strength of erosion resistant materials was developed, investigating the effects of temperature and coating surface roughness. An empirical extrapolation method to predict ice adhesion strength with varying temperature is presented and validated on metallic materials. The average ice adhesion strength over the tested conditions for the nitride-based coatings was 51.5% higher than the uncoated metallic materials. Titanium aluminum nitride has the highest average adhesion strength of 75.1 psi and titanium grade 2 has the lowest with 36.9 psi over all of the test conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication54th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference
StatePublished - 2013
Event54th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: Apr 8 2013Apr 11 2013

Publication series

NameCollection of Technical Papers - AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference
ISSN (Print)0273-4508


Other54th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBoston, MA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Architecture
  • General Materials Science
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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