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Engineering Materials
Aircraft Materials Lighten Up
7/26/2012

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Hexcel's fiberglass Acousti-Cap honeycomb core material combines sound dampening properties with lightweighting for aircraft engines.   (Source: Hexcel)
Hexcel's fiberglass Acousti-Cap honeycomb core material combines sound dampening properties with lightweighting for aircraft engines.
(Source: Hexcel)

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ScotCan
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Platinum
Re: Composites not the only game in town
ScotCan   8/13/2012 5:23:17 PM
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It really shouldn't be a surprise that composites are not the be all and end all of advanced structures. Aluminum has served the aircraft industries well and is (relatively speaking) a fail-safe material...dings, dents and cracks are all fixable in aluminum....dings in composites you don't know about until you've got 12 feet of delamination flapping in the breeze. Dents require trepanning the damage out of the composite and rebuilding the location. Things like leading edges in composites are fine until you have a bird strike then it's easier to replace the whole leading edge. A bird strike on an aluminum leading edge is field fixable by any competent sheet metal basher...most get you home fixes are good enough for a number of flights since the pilot will be able to view the fix and make a decision on whether to fly. Try making the same decision on a composite fix and you don't know whether its good bad or indifferent. Alcoa et al are not going to go out of business because the new fad is composites...in fact they've still got a lot up their sleeves....variations in ARALL and GLARE are just two of the aluminum/composite hybrids that'll run circles around pure composites

 

jacksos1
User Rank
Iron
Re: Thanks for the great article!
jacksos1   8/3/2012 4:11:48 PM
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I should also clarify that the Divinycell F is manufactured by Diab using BASF materials.  Thanks.

Susan

Ed Fuller
User Rank
Iron
Re: Are aircraft composites that radical?
Ed Fuller   8/1/2012 5:25:39 PM
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One of the major reasons William Boeing chose Seattle to build his airplane factory was the ready availability of spruce (particularly Sitka spruce aka "Aircraft Spruce").

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Thanks for the great article!
Ann R. Thryft   8/1/2012 12:02:06 PM
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BASF's website at the link Susan gives below has a clickable overall diagram of the numerous types of plastics and other materials for an airplane manufactured by the company. While high-level, I found this info helpful in my background research. Clicking on any of the categories leads to a different diagram giving more detail. For example, the high-level diagram on the structural materials page http://www.aerospace.basf.com/structural-materials/ gives an idea of where different types of composites, thermoplastics, PIM and polyurethane materials might be used in an aircraft.

notarboca
User Rank
Gold
Possible use of this technology
notarboca   8/1/2012 12:43:10 AM
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I see this technology as being useful in the manufacture of jackscrews, ths component that is often used to actuate control surfaces.  If it was constructed of a lightweight plastic with a low coefficent of friction, this would be less inertia needed to move the jackscrew (energy saving for the drive motor) and could possibly lessen the need for lubrication substances.  Remember the Alaska Airlines DC-9 that crashed due to failure of the jackscrew from inadequate/wrong tytpe of grease?

jacksos1
User Rank
Iron
Thanks for the great article!
jacksos1   7/31/2012 2:45:36 PM
NO RATINGS
I appreciate you including us in the discussion.

 

Cheers, Susan

www.aerospace.basf.com

jackiecox
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Are aircraft composites that radical?
jackiecox   7/27/2012 10:56:58 PM
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sometimes new ideas generate new discovweries, consider a study of all species of bird feathers and the incredible design weight, lift, etc etc, flexible wings to use both mechanical power and atmospheric changes , perhaps the ultra lights culd take on a new perspective> my wing collection has some very old feathers that have not changed over time as I keep studing these designs which are incredible' I think there is legislation forbading feather collections, but I have a deep native american background, the race card and holocaust is not in my deck. My spirit remembers the genocide of americas 20,000 tribes, and the role buffalo soldiers played when freed. I worked for a time at LTV Aerospace in the 60's on the A-7 series, while no bird is powered with fuel they can indeed do some pretty tricky stunts, like gliding for hours, with small wing shifts , in acord with atmospheric variables, fins do compensate to keep on course, but consideration  of actual feathers may be in our future. whatever. Birds of prey do reach considerable speed, without any fuel at all, 

jackiecox
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Are aircraft composites that radical?
jackiecox   7/27/2012 10:22:50 PM
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sometimes new ideas generate new discovweries, consider a study of all species of bird feathers and the incredible design they are constructed by

j-allen
User Rank
Gold
Are aircraft composites that radical?
j-allen   7/27/2012 4:01:25 PM
How totaly novel and unprecedented, building an airplane out of light strong fibrous composites.  Ideas like that don't grow on trees.  Wait---Or did they? 


Maybe there's a reason why Boeing located its first factory in Washington State.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Composites not the only game in town
Ann R. Thryft   7/27/2012 3:13:15 PM
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CPDick, thanks. I'll check it out.

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