Ceramic coating research on towers

Discussion in 'Design, Development and Standards Discussions' started by Zytexx Florida, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. Zytexx Florida

    Zytexx Florida First Time Poster

    I am doing research into coating towers with a liquid ceramic coating that will eliminate the ability for Ice and snow to adhere to the towers, antennas, receivers and transmitters. While protecting the coated surfaces from UV damage, oxidation and corrosion. Feasible?
  2. charlietfl

    charlietfl Administrator Staff Member

    What is the context of your question?

    Feasible ... to buy such a product?
    Feasible ... to apply such a product?
    Feasible ... to patent and then sell such a product?
    Feasible ... to get engineering approval to negate ice load should product be applied?

    I can think of several other potential "feasible" questions.
  3. cableman

    cableman Friend of the Community

    How thick would the coating have to be? Have you done any RF studies on it yet? That might be the first place to start. If it doesn't cause any interference it might have the ability to take the place of a heating element to keep off ice on antennas.
  4. tfowler

    tfowler Friend of the Community

    There may be other silica resin-based products out there already for this purpose or at least in development.

    I thought Dow Corning had something they were using for a similar application.

    There is an interesting article about ice resistant superhydrophobic coatings where silica pieces less than 50 nanometers in size are used. They have microscopic ridges that reduce the surface area to which water can adhere. The water mostly touches the air pockets between the particles and falls away without freezing.

    A hydrophobic silicone polymer is used to repel water in the popular windshield product Rain X, but those portions are in micrometers, not nanometers, and the result is water being repelled, but it will ice up.

    The University of Pittsburg researchers produced excellent results on a commercial satellite dish where their coated half of the dish had no ice and the other half was encrusted.

    With such a thin coating with the main ingredient being silica, it's doubtful there would be RF interference problems.

    If your product is already available, is it a superhydrophobic ceramic coating?
  5. Ceramiccoater

    Ceramiccoater First Time Poster

  6. KLB Welding

    KLB Welding Industry Observer

    I have a question about this. When doing modifications to the tower such as welding how easily could these coating be removed and reapplied once the mods are completed? How would the coating be affected in the immediate area near the weld? How far from the weld would you have to grind back in order to have enough area to apply the new coating and have it adhere properly? Just a though I had while reading this post.
  7. Tired Tech

    Tired Tech Friend of the Community

    All I want to know is how slippery does it make the climb?

    There is no miracle - one fix all cure.

    The stand alone towers in my area, the lease holder signs a 10 year agreement with the option to renew.
    At the end of 10 years, if something better comes along, the property owner is stuck with the tower on his / her property and has to pay someone to tear it down.

    The towers themselves are planned obsolescence, I doubt if they will still be there 30 years from now..
    My guess is that at some point, it will all go to microcells and picocells and femtocells ..
  8. Kevin Reski

    Kevin Reski Frequent Poster

    I have heard of countless suggested solutions of coatings that suggest their product prevent ice from sticking to towers, but MN & ND ice does not need to stick to the surface to load up towers or guy wires. Our ice forms & is retained at the towers irregular shape, corner, holes, nook & crannies for several days before the sun comes out again. Ice is not retained on the tower because it is sticking to the surface or paint coating of a tower. I can pick & lift ice off of a tower leg, guy wire or diagonal since the ice is not normally fused/frozen onto the tower steel surfaces, the ice is trapped around the shape of the steel or strand. Sure, I have also witnessed some tower paint separate, peel & fall away with the ice load as it sheds from time to time. I trust all other tower & guy wire icing experiences are similar to my several months of each year regional ice on towers knowledge.
  9. r3dko

    r3dko Friend of the Community

    Ice is and always will continue to be a problem. A significant change in the design of cell sites would have to take place. One potential solution would be to embed heating elements with the structural steel members themselves, tied to a solar array capable of producing enough current to heat the steel itself. Based on what we have available today, this would be cost-prohibitive and would introduce a new safety risk.

    Even with the coating, you would have to test and make sure that it wouldn't introduce a slip hazard. To my understanding, a coating that reduces ridges and surface area would also be very slick to the touch. Any moisture on the surface would create a 'slip&slide' effect, which in turn would be a big safety hazard to anyone attempting to work on the tower.

    All-in-all, a solution that was cost effective and safe would definitely be welcome. I do, however, agree with Tired Tech regarding the obsolescence of towers. There will always be a need but the current demand will be significantly decreased within the next 5-10 years.

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