I'm curious as to whether this is a transition time for composite materials or whether there is something intrinsic to composites that makes detection of problems and repair more difficult for composites than it is for more conventional materials.
@Ann: The title of this article seems to be out of step with its contents, to say the least. Obviously Bombardier doesn't think composite aircraft repair is advancing enough to justify using composites in the CSeries fuselage.
Which aluminum-lithium alloys is Bombardier using? There was an article on this website a few months ago about Alcoa's new third-generation aluminum-lithium alloys, which were developed cooperatively with Bombardier.
@Beth.The government gets involved because the private sector tends to gloss over problems in order to maintain market share. That being said too much government involvement stifles progress. The Bombardier decision is more likely based around deHavilland's experience over the years where their tough aircraft stood up to some primitive operating conditions...dings and dents being the standard operating experience. Also the flight cycle time for the Dash 8 on the west coast averages 58 minutes which is rough on a structure where fatigue is concerned. Aluminum-Lithium is a difficult material to work with but (again) Fleet Industries in Ontario has had long experience in building (and repairing) such structures.It will be interesting to see where Bombardier goes with this since the C series is a big change from the smaller aircraft built previously.
I would think it goes without saying that there should be new standards and certifications for technicians charged with the responsibility for vetting out and orchestrating the fix of composite structures in need of repair. Composite materials are very different that what's required to repair metal and steel structures. I don't know why we need a government report to tell us an heavy investment in training and skills building is necessary!
At this year's MD&M West show, lots of material suppliers are talking about new formulations for wearables and things that stick to the skin, whether it's adhesives, wound dressings, skin patches and other drug delivery devices, or medical electronics.
The US Congress has extended an important tax credit for solar energy, a move that’s good news for future investments in this type of alternative energy and for many stakeholders in the solar industry.
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