Nanotechnology in Aerospace Materials
Figure 1. The aerospace industry is under pressure to improve it's environmental footprint, primarily by making aircraft more efficient. Image credit: Bureau of Labor Statistics.
There are few industries where the applications of nanotechnology are so clearly beneficial as in the aerospace industry. The primary development goals match almost exactly with the advantages offered by using various nanomaterials in the place of traditional bulk metals like steel. •
The aerospace industry is one of the most important heavy industries in the world. Countless companies rely on the ability to ship products and people around the world with the speed that can only by achieved by air. The aircraft manufacturing market was worth xxx billion in 20xx, and the bulk of this was accounted for by military spending. •
Along with this huge economic value, however, comes huge consumption, and one of the largest carbon footprints on the planet relative to the size of the market. For this reason, the major drivers in current aerospace R&D are towards lighter construction materials and more efficient engines - the overall goal being to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions associated with air travel and air freight. The significant interest in nanotechnology for the aerospace industry is justified by the potential of nanomaterials and nanoengineering to help the industry achieve this goal. •
This article will review some of the nanomaterials which are already being applied in aerospace manufacturing, and the benefits they can provide. •
Bulk metals with some nanoscale structure are already widely used in aircraft manufacturing. It is now well known that nanostructured metals - exhibit considerably improved properties compared to their counterparts with microscale or larger grain structure. •
This is particularly noticeable for properties which are crucial for materials used in aircraft -...
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