• University of Houston researchers develop sprayable ice-shedding coating for planes
  • Altech teams up with German battery institute to commercialise SAS batteries
  • BluGlass joins Solid-State Lighting & Energy Electronics Centre (SSLEEC) consortium


A University of Houston mechanical engineer has developed a sprayable ice-shedding material that is 100 times stronger than any others – which has massive implications for the aerospace industry.

From 1990 to 2000, 12% of all weather-related air disasters were due to icing, and a wide range of materials with ice-shedding characteristics have been developed – but many tend to have very low durability, limiting their effectiveness.

And this new durable coating material has already been tested by Boeing under erosive rain conditions at 620km/h and has outperformed current state-of-the-art aerospace coating technologies.

“The primary challenge in developing ice-shedding materials is finding materials with both low ice adhesion and good durability,” Cullen Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Hadi Ghasemi said.

“We developed a new concept in which, through material design, you can significantly accelerate the crack formation and growth and easily remove external objects from the surface.

“This concept is implemented to develop materials that are highly durable, and ice does not attach to these materials.

There are a wide range of applications too, for example ice build-up on wind turbines could lead to an 80% drop in power generation which could be avoided through these new coating materials.


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The company has executed a JV agreement with German battery institute Fraunhofer IKTS to commercialise IKTS’ revolutionary CERENERGY Sodium Alumina Solid State (SAS) Battery. 

Altech will be the majority owner at 75% of the JV company, which will commercialise a 100 MWh project to be constructed on Altech’s land in Schwarze Pumpe, Germany. 

The target market for this project will specifically focus on the grid (stationary) energy storage market which is expected to grow from US$4.4 billion in 2022 to US$15.1 billion by 2027. 

The JV partners have commenced the planning process for the Bankable Feasibility Study required for the commercialisation process, and once the Train 1 (100 MWh) plant is built and operating, the longer-term vision for the JV is to construct additional trains or a Gigawatt battery facility. 

Altech believes the batteries are the game-changing grid storage alternative to lithium-ion batteries. 

The SAS CERENERGY battery uses common table salt and and nickel – is lithium-free; cobalt-free; graphite-free; and copper-free, eliminating exposure to critical metal price rises and supply chain concerns. 

Plus, they are fire and explosion-proof, have a life span of more than 15 years and operate in extreme cold and desert climates. 

Man admiring a ceramic solid-state electrolyte at the IKTS pilot facility.



Semiconductor developer BluGlass has joined the University of California, Santa Barbara’s (UCSB) Solid-State Lighting & Energy Electronics Centre (SSLEEC) consortium.

It’s kind of a big deal, because it’s invitation only and member companies are internationally recognised as contributing to the advancement of solid-state lighting and electronics.

And membership provides the company with with access to the UCSB’s gallium nitride (GaN) faculty and facilities, which could accelerate its laser product roadmaps.

“We are delighted to be invited to join the world’s leading GaN industry and academic consortium, which is a testament to the cutting-edge development being conducted at BluGlass,” president Jim Haden said. 

“Our membership enables us to leverage the expertise of industry pioneers Drs Shuji Nakamura and Steven DenBaars; and to fast-track our advanced product roadmaps. 

“It also enhances our credibility with potential customers and partners, reinforcing our expertise in GaN laser diodes.” 



Mighty Kingdom has launched its new mobile title, Star Trek: Lower Decks – The Badgey Directive – which is a free-to-play idle mobile game, featuring storylines and characters from across the Star Trek franchise. 

The game is published by the company’s co-development partner East Side Games Group (ESGG), Canada’s leading free-to-play mobile idle game group, as part of a multi-year partnership with Paramount Consumer Products. 

“Working in the Star Trek universe with a Lower Decks-flair has been a wonderful experience, and we are so thrilled to share our work with the world,” MD and CEO Philip Mayes said.

“It is a universe with a huge, dedicated global audience, and we expect this game to provide fans with a compelling experience that they will enjoy playing day after day.”

Mighty Kingdom and ESGG will share revenue from the game after costs are recouped.



The company has received binding commitments from institutional and sophisticated investors to raise approximately AU$1,657,200 via a placement to advance commercialisation of its CVM aircraft crack detection system.

“This capital raise will allow us to rapidly advance the commercialisation strategy for CVM and focus on positive, ongoing engagement with a range of potential, high value customers,” executive chairman Ross Love said.

“Since my update to shareholders of last week, I can confirm that we have received our first formal request for quotation for the supply of the initial sensor kits to Delta Airlines, and that other commercial discussions are currently progressing well. 

“Our team is focused on identifying airlines’ significant potential cost savings via the broad application of our technology and to ultimately assisting them to increase the reliability and cost effectiveness of employing CVM across a suite of airframe maintenance programs to enable the delivery of significant savings in hangar time per annum.” 



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