The main objective of the HEFESTO project is to redesign the engine deck/firewall area of a helicopter in CFRP in order to obtain the greatest weight reduction possible (greater than 10%) and fatigue resistance improvement over the traditional titanium structure. In order for this to be feasible, the CFRP must be adequately protected against heat and fire.
The object of the HEFESTO project is therefore also to demonstrate a novel all-in-one multilayer coating effective to thermally isolate and fireproof CFRP in order to resist the operating conditions and fire hazards in the immediate area of a helicopter motor. The multilayer coating, which is composed of an aerogel (to thermally insolate), a ceramic (to fireproof) and an intumescent layer (to actively firefight), will be applied to the redesigned helicopter engine deck/firewall.
The resulting structure will be fire tested to demonstrate it fireproof according to CS-29 standards, and also tested under constant temperature conditions representative of the motor area to demonstrate that the coating thermally isolates the CFRP at temperatures which are acceptable for this material to maintain its mechanical properties completely intact. The most appropriate configuration and application method for the multi layer coating will be identified so as to make it practical, light, cheap and efficient.