One of the big engineering questions with the Boeing Dreamliner was how to provide lightning strike protection in a plastic-bodied aircraft. Composites have up to 1,000 times less electrical conductivity than aluminum, increasing the potential for damage
The average airliner is struck by lightning once or twice a year. Boeing added conductive material to the composites to provide a pathway for lightning strikes. The added weight, especially on the wing where fuel is stored, was one of the factors that pushed the Dreamliner above its target weight.
The Dreamliner successfully endured its first lightning strike in a test flight last year. But Boeing is exploring a new materials’ solution to protect composite-bodied aircraft from lightning strikes, according to Boeing’s Andy Harber, who made the comment in a question-and-answer session following a presentation at AeroCon in Anaheim, CA last week. Harber, who is senior project manager-design engineering at Boeing, did not provide any specifics.
New versions of BASF's Ecovio line are both compostable and designed for either injection molding or thermoforming. These combinations are becoming more common for the single-use bioplastics used in food service and food packaging applications, but are still not widely available.
The 100-percent solar-powered Solar Impulse plane flies on a piloted, cross-country flight this summer over the US as a prelude to the longer, round-the-world flight by its successor aircraft planned for 2015.
GE Aviation expects to chop off about 25 percent of the total 3D printing time of metallic production components for its LEAP Turbofan engine, using in-process inspection. That's pretty amazing, considering how slow additive manufacturing (AM) build times usually are.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.