Lightweight and strong load-bearing elements of aircraft
Composite materials enabled a quantum leap in aircraft engineering by increasing aircraft power and reducing their weight.
Air traffic is growing denser every year all over the globe. Air safety requirements are getting more stringent. Composite materials help to improve aircraft performance, reliability and safety.
Carbon composites reduce aircraft weight by an average of 30% with the same structural strength.
This material is highly resistant to vibrations and corrosion. It ensures long life and safe operation of mechanisms.
||Tensile strength, MPa||Tensile modulus, GPa||Elongation at break, %||Density, g/cm3|
|Carbon fiber made of PAN precursor||high strength, standard modulus||3500-5000||200-280||1.4-2.0||1.75-1.80|
|high strength, intermediate modulus||4500-7000||280-325||1.7-2.1||1.73-1.81|
|ultra high modulus||2500-4000||450-600||0.7-1.0||1.85-1.95|
Composites are used to make some of the airliner elements.
Carbon fiber composites are used to make:
Aircraft wheel brakes have carbon composite parts weighing about 30% of the steel brakes.
Brake gears made of these materials are designed to endure 3,000 landings.
Modern helicopters contain 15% of carbon composite materials.
The history of using composites in aircraft engineering dates back to the 1930s when glass fiber reinforced plastic was first used to make molding tools.
The introduction of carbon fiber composites in 1961 was a revolution in aircraft engineering that offered an alternative to the heavier metals. Twenty years later, carbon fiber reinforced plastics were used in aircraft engineering all around.
The weight content of composites in modern aircraft is 50%.
The overall weight of Airbus A350 is made up by
52% composites, 20% aluminum, 14% titanium, 7% steel, and 7% other materials. Boeing 787 Dreamliner features a similar material content: 50% composites, 20% aluminum, 15% titanium, 10% steel, and 5% other materials.
The introduction of composite materials in aircraft engineering allowed to produce structural members of aircraft with the target parameters of strength, reliability, safety, and other operational characteristics.
Lightweight and strong carbon composites allow to improve designs of the modern aircraft, reduce fuel consumption, and extend their flight range.