Multifunctional Composite Materials
Small Business Information
6166 Egret Court, Benicia, CA, 94510
AbstractPolymeric composite materials that are currently utilized in aircraft structures are susceptible to significant damage from lightning strikes. Enhanced electrical and thermal conductivity in these polymeric composites could eliminate this damage. The addition of this multifunctional capability to composites will result in lower manufacturing costs and weight reductions in future aircraft since the addition of coatings, conductive mesh, or expanded foil materials can be eliminated. A combined materials and engineering approach will be utilized to accomplish this objective by modifying a high performance composite system with a combination of conductive nano and micron size filler materials. The large difference between the two filler sizes will create a stratified composite structure that consists of the conductive micron size particles residing in the interlayer region of the composite with the nanomaterials dispersed evenly throughout the matrix and in the fiber tows. Using this approach, these composites will have the same or better balance of mechanical properties as current state-of-the-art composite systems but also have the added functionality of a conductive interlayer and network to eliminate damage from lightning strikes. The Technology Readiness Level will be between 3 and 4 after the Phase 1 program.
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