Numerical simulation of aircraft thermal anti-icing system based on a tight-coupling method

Xueqin Bu, Guiping Lin, Xiaobin Shen, Zhongliang Hu, Dongsheng Wen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Considering the influence of surface temperature distribution on air convective heat transfer coefficient, the robust tight-coupling method is firstly developed for aircraft thermal anti-icing simulations under icing conditions. To include the effects of the impinging water droplets on the conjugate heat transfer of thermal anti-icing systems, the Messinger thermodynamic model of runback water film is modified and added to the tightly coupled calculation of the external air flow and the internal solid skin heat conduction. Numerical simulations are carried out on an electro-thermal anti-icing system under both dry air and icing conditions, and the main conclusions below can be drawn. First, convective heat transfer coefficient changes slightly with surface temperature near the leading edge, but is obviously affected by temperature distribution in the downstream area. Second, the anti-icing temperature deviations between the predicted value and the experiment date are acceptable and comparable to the calculation results in the literature, verifying the feasibility and effectiveness of the tight-coupling method. Third, compared with the traditional decoupled loose-coupling method, the robust tight-coupling anti-icing method successfully captures the effect of surface temperature on convective heat transfer coefficient, and predicts higher temperature with lower drop rate on the downstream surfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119061
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
StatePublished - Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Aircraft icing
  • Conjugate heat transfer
  • Electro-thermal anti-icing system
  • Numerical simulation
  • Tight-coupling method


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