This project focused on achieving higher aviation safety standards by eliminating icing issues in aviation fuel systems.

Key facts

    • Better understanding of ice accretion and properties in a fuel system
    • Industry and publicly funded, jointly conducted by academics from across Energy and Power, plus colleagues from Aerospace, Manufacturing, and Defence and Security
    • An outreaching research leading to an EU funded FP7 project

Impact of our research

The work has been reported to European Aviation Safety Agency , and knowledge gained is expected to support the upgradation of the relevant safety regulations for the industry. The results have been published in journals, and industrial magazines and reported in conferences and at a seminar organised by IMechE.

Why the research was commissioned

The presence of water in jet fuel has long been a topic of concern for the aviation industry, since any contaminating water may freeze during long flights at high altitudes. The icing process in fuels is a complex process which involves mass and heat transfers of a multiphase system at very low temperatures. The resulting ice particles may block fuel filters, result in the malfunction of fuel system equipment, or otherwise interfere with the steady flow of fuel to the engines, thereby creating an obvious safety issue.

Icing test rig

Why Cranfield?

Cranfield have recognised achievements resulting from decades of leading research on multiphase systems, fuel characteristics and icing in aircraft.