Nanotechnology in Aviation

Topics: Nanotechnology, Materials science, Nanomaterials Pages: 8 (2295 words) Published: August 22, 2012

Israel Stephen U.
Manigandan D.
III Yr, Aeronautical
Excel College Of Engg. & Tech

ABSTRACT: In the aerospace industry, there is a great need for new materials which exhibit improved mechanical properties. Materials possessing high strength at a reduced mass and size make lighter aircraft with lower fuel consumption. The development of new materials with tailored properties is a primary goal of today’s materials science and engineering. This paper gives us a brief idea of the various applications and benefits of nanotechnology in Aerospace Industries.


• Introduction

• Properties of Nanomaterials

• Applications in Airframe and Components

• Coatings

• Engine

• Sensors

• Electric and Electronic Components

• Others

• Conclusion

I. Introduction

The global passenger traffic is expected to increase steadily over the next 20 years by an average growth rate of about 5%. Main reasons are GDP growth, increased globalization, and population growth. To satisfy these expectations aircraft companies are looking for new technologies. They are looking for increased safety, reduced emissions, reduced noise, increased capacity, increased range, enhanced payload, higher speed, lower operating and maintenance costs, better overall management of the aircraft and its use.

II. Properties Of Nanomaterials

The main driving force towards lighter materials is the fact that transport costs decrease by a factor of $300 per pound of reduced weight in commercial aircraft transport. This value is 100 times as high as it is in the automotive sector. Reduced weight leads to lower costs and better ecological compatibility due to reduced fuel consumption The most important properties addressed by aerospace materials are strength, stiffness, impact resistance, long lifetime, toughness, ductility and lightness. Revolutionary new Nano composites have the promise to be 100 times stronger than steel at only 1/6 of the weight, making aircraft more efficient and able to fly faster. Such novel materials would be extremely flexible allowing the wings to reshape instantly and remaining extremely resistant to damage at the same time. In addition, these materials would have “self-healing” functionality. The high strength-to-weight ratio of these nano-materials could enable new vehicle designs that can withstand crashes and protect the passengers against injury Nanotechnology can contribute especially to reducing operating costs through lightweight and strong structural materials with the resulting weight and energy savings. In addition, functionality and reliability can be enhanced by improved functional materials and sensors. Lightweight structural materials are the main focus for applications of Nanomaterials in civil aviation. Advantages of Nanomaterials are: Ultra high strength to weight ratio, improved hardness, wear resistance and resilience, thermal shock, fatigue and creep resistance, enhanced anti-microbial activity, multi-functional materials can reduce weight by reducing the number of components. Nanomaterials can enhance the properties of almost every material used in aircraft building.

III. Airframe and components

• The airframe is the main target for the use of Nanomaterials, aiming at a weight reduction and therefore decreased fuel consumption and costs because of the strength of Nanomaterials. • Another reason for using stronger materials is to enhance passenger comfort. For example, the cabins of airliners are pressurized to avoid the need for oxygen masks, but the onboard air is still much thinner than on the ground — typically the cabin atmosphere is equivalent to an altitude of 8,000ft. Keeping the cabin pressure at ground level, the aircraft’ aluminium bodies would have to be much thicker, making them prohibitively heavy. As mentioned above, Nanomaterials could give...
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