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Aerospace

Russia’s keeping the lead in aerospace

Industry

Aerospace is the fastest developing among other industries. It brings a high economic and scientific value to any state. Aerospace companies keep introducing the latest technological solutions and improving the processes.

Composite materials improve spacecraft performance.

Development of the current Russian aerospace technology and equipment

Advantages of carbon composites

Carbon composites are widely used in aerospace engineering due to their excellent strength-to-weight ratio, heat tolerance, vibration resistance, and low specific weight.


Composites reduce the weight of aerospace products and cut the associated maintenance expenditures and fuel consumption.

  • High strength
  • High rigidity
  • Weight
  • Heat tolerance, zero magnetic response, radiation resistance
  • High corrosion resistance
  • Vibration resistance

Advantages of carbon fiber composites in aerospace equipment


This material is several times stronger than steel of standard grades


Carbon composite connections are far more reliable than connections made of brass, aluminum, nickel, bronze, or stainless steel


Carbon fiber versus other materials

Fiber type




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
high modulus 3500-5000 325-450 0.7-1.4 1.75-1.85
ultra high modulus 2500-4000 450-600 0.7-1.0 1.85-1.95
Glass E-glass 2500-3800 70-75 4.5-4.7 2.5-2.7
S-glass 4000-4500 80-90 5.0-5.3 2.5
Organic Aramid 3000-3600 60-180 2.4-3.6 1.45
Polyethylene 200-3000 5-170 3-80 0.96
Steel high strength 1200-2800 200 3.5 7.8
stainless 800-2000 190 3.0 7.8
Basalt 3000-4800 90-110 3.0 2.6-2.8
Boron 3500-4000 350-400 0.5-0.7 2.6

Applications


Carbon fiber is now a common material for body parts and interior elements in aerospace engineering.

The fibrous structure of the carbon fiber parts redistributes inner stress and prevents propagation of small cracks. This is why such parts fail less often than metal parts. Carbon composites are also used to make antenna reflectors, struts, connecting structures, and bridging units for spacecraft.

5

Carbon fiber reinforced plastic is 5 times lighter than steel


1,8

1.8 times lighter than aluminum

Композит из углеволокна позволяет снизить вес космического изделия на 10-15%

Historical background

It is aerospace industry that promoted volume production of carbon fiber. In the 1960s, researchers discovered carbon to be a decent alternative to the conventional materials. This material is heat tolerant, lightweight, strong, rigid, and resistant in diverse environments.

Carbon fiber allowed to reduce the weight of spacecraft by 10% to 50% whilst improving their safety.

Experience


Lin Industrial, a Russian aerospace startup is developing private ultralight launch vehicles (10+ kg) to be made of carbon fiber. The company scheduled the first space launch to be performed in early 2020 opening up the opportunities for aerospace development in Russia.

Ultralight launch vehicles emerged on the market to meet the demand for orbital launching of satellites beyond the commercial space launch schedule and delivering payloads to the destinations off the routes of the large launch vehicles.

Summary

Spacecraft require materials that would sustain heavy loads in the severe environments. Carbon composites fit the requirement.


They are lightweight, strong, rigid, resistant to aggressive media, radiation and heat.