The transportation industry is increasingly reliant on composite materials. To achieve extraordinary advances, the transportation industry requires materials that are lighter, stronger, safer and more affordable than conventional materials. Engineers are pursuing these ideal parameters through increased precision in both design and manufacture to achieve greater uniformity and concomitant predictability in materials performance.
Throughout the last four decades the exploitation of fibre-reinforced plastics (FRP) in engineering structures has been steadily diversifying from sports equipment and high performance racing cars, to helicopters and most recently commercial aeroplanes.
In the aerospace industry the benefits of exploiting the excellent specific strength and stiffness properties (strength and stiffness per unit weight) of composites in terms of lightweight structural design are vast. Furthermore, the laminated nature of high performance composite materials enables the designer to tailor optimum mechanical properties by orientating the fibre direction with the primary load paths.
The composite materials meet stringent requirements even at aggressive operating conditions such as high temperature, pressure, moisture, corrosive environment or high stress.
Aircraft interior, canopies, wings etc. and more can be made of composite material.
Weight savings to the tune of 50% for structural and 75% for non-structural applications brings associated benefits of reduced power consumption, lower inertia and ability to carry more pay-loads.
FRP components for Aerospace use: