Conductive heating systems are energy efficient compared to convective types because only a small part of the blades are prone to generate ice crust formations and needs heating. The heating mats are therefore primarily applied on or near the leading edge of the blade. Unfortunately, the same area is also the one that is most subjected to ice or lightning damages.
Additionally, the conductive heating system itself acts as a lightning rod, increasing the likelihood of lightning strikes. Physical impacts and lightning damages of the conductive heating systems are therefore common, and these damages give rise to hotspots, increasing local temperatures beyond the matrix/epoxy degradation temperature. The hotspots may therefore induce a growth of the damages during operation.