Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
An official website of the European UnionAn official EU website
English (en)
TRIMIS

Novel Aeronautical Multifunctional Composite Structures With Bulk Electrical Conductivity And Self-Sensing Capabilities

ELECTRICAL

Novel Aeronautical Multifunctional Composite Structures With Bulk Electrical Conductivity And Self-Sensing Capabilities

Call for proposal: 
FP7-AAT-2010-RTD-1
Link to CORDIS:
Background & policy context: 

Aircraft structures appear to be strategic components to be manufactured in composite materials for reducing weight. New questions regarding electrical conductivity have arisen such as static discharge, electrical bonding and grounding, interference shielding and current return through the structure.

These functions can be met by the use of technologies based on nano composites, which indeed combine mechanical properties, electrical and thermal conductivity.

Objectives: 

Based on the needs to provide advanced concepts and technologies for increased and optimised use of light-weight composite smart materials, the main objective of ELECTRICAL is the development of novel multifunctional composite structures with bulk electrical conductivity and self-sensing capabilities.

The project will investigate and develop alternative emerging methods to manufacture nano-reinforced carbon-based composites compatible with current industrial manufacturing processes of composites.

The main goals will be:

  • Development of innovative technologies to convert nano-fillers into engineered multifunctional pre-forms, prepregs, bucky-papers, etc, for further use in CFRP structures. CNTs bulk doped resins are also to be considered as the main baseline;
  • Manufacture, characterisation and test CFRP based materials with such multifunctional engineered nano structures.
Methodology: 

Liquid moulding technologies will be considered, although autoclave technology will also be considered as the second alternative. The three main functionalities will be:

  • Electrical conductivity of aeronautical composite structures to meet requirements regarding static discharge, electrical bonding and grounding, etc;
  • Monitoring and optimisation of CFRP curing process by Dielectric Mapping;
  • Quality assurance of final component (de-laminations, etc) by Electrical Resistance Tomography (ERT).
Institution Type:
Institution Name: 
The European Commission
Type of funding:
Key Results: 

Nanomaterials for advanced composites

Increasing the fraction of non-metallic components in aircraft has given rise to questions regarding electrical conductivity. An EU-funded project exploited nanotechnology to develop novel multifunctional composite materials that can efficiently conduct electric current.

Inclusion of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) into a polymer matrix provides potential for creating materials with multifunctional properties. However, several issues need to be overcome to successfully introduce electrically conductive nanoparticles into polymer composite laminates. For example, the increased viscosity of resin and the filtration of nanoparticles lead to defective laminates. Another important issue related to the increasing use of carbon fibre reinforced polymers (CFRPs) is the lack of reliable methods for quality control.

The EU-funded project ELECTRICAL (Novel aeronautical multifunctional composite structures with bulk electrical conductivity and self-sensing capabilities) worked on further developing the exciting potential of nano-reinforced resins in terms of their electrical and mechanical properties.

Scientists worked on alternative emerging methods for manufacturing nano-reinforced carbon-based composites compatible with current industrial manufacturing processes of composites. Various state-of-the-art fabrication technologies to convert CNT nanofillers into engineered multifunctional preforms, prepregs or buckypapers were considered for further use in CFRP structures. Incorporation of nanofillers into toughened thermoplastic fibres or non-woven veils helped overcome the resin-increased viscosity and filtration effects.

ELECTRICAL exploited the CNT properties as polymeric resin doping to develop novel multifunctional composite structures with bulk electrical conductivity and self-sensing capabilities.

Dielectric mapping helped monitoring and optimising the CFRP curing process. This technique takes advantage of the CNT electrical conductivity to perform non-invasive electrical measurements of the material in the vicinity of the dielectric sensor. Furthermore, the piezoresistive CNT behaviour enabled development of innovative CFRP structures with distributed or localised self-sensing capabilities, enabling quality assurance of the final component.

ELECTRICAL activities and outcomes should help increase the competitiveness of European aeronautical companies against their international counterparts. The primary market is composite fuselage parts for the next generation of large aircraft. In addition, the advanced composite materials may find applications in other markets such as space, automotive and rail.

Lead Organisation: 

Fundacion Tecnalia Research & Innovation

Address: 
Parque Tecnologico De Bizkaia - Calle Geldo - Edificio 700
48160 Derio
Spain
EU Contribution: 
€633,363
Partner Organisations: 

Short Brothers Plc

Address: 
Airport Road, Queens Island
Belfast
BT3 9DZ
United Kingdom
EU Contribution: 
€200,833

Umeco Structural Materials (Derby) Limited

Address: 
CONCORDE HOUSE, WARWICK NEW ROAD 24
LEAMINGTON SPA
CV32 5JG
United Kingdom
EU Contribution: 
€199,880

Inasco Hellas Etaireia Efarmosmenon Aerodiastimikon Epistimon Ee

Address: 
Napoleontos Zerva 18
16675 Glyfada Athina
Greece
EU Contribution: 
€201,900

Airbus Operations Sas

Address: 
ROUTE DE BAYONNE 316
31060 TOULOUSE
France
EU Contribution: 
€52,537

Airbus Defence And Space Gmbh

Address: 
Ludwig-Boelkow-Allee 1
85521 Ottobrunn
Germany
EU Contribution: 
€175,000

Airbus

Address: 
2 ROND POINT EMILE DEWOITINE
31700 BLAGNAC
France
EU Contribution: 
€202,219

Airbus Deutschland Gmbh

Address: 
Kreetslag 10
950109 HAMBURG
Germany
EU Contribution: 
€68,500

Airbus Espana, S.l. Sociedad Unipersonal

Address: 
P John Lenon, s/n
28906 GETAFE
Spain
EU Contribution: 
€22,500

Arkema France

Address: 
Rue Estienne D Orves 420
92700 Colombes
France
EU Contribution: 
€115,100

Aernnova Aerospace S.a.u.

Address: 
LEONARDO DA VINCI Parque Tecnologico de ALAVA 13
01510 MIÑANO (ALAVA)
Spain
EU Contribution: 
€197,880

Fundacja Partnerstwa Technologicznego Technology Partners

Address: 
UL. PAWINSKIEGO 5A
02-106 WARSZAWA
Poland
EU Contribution: 
€187,500

Association Pour Le Developpement De L'enseignement Et Des Recherches Aupres Des Universites, Des Centres De Recherche Et Des Entreprises D'aquitaine

Address: 
Avenue Du Docteur Albert Schweitzer - Centre Condorcet 162
33608 Pessac
France
EU Contribution: 
€331,441

Panepistimio Patron

Address: 
University Campus- Rio
26500 Patras
Greece
EU Contribution: 
€289,500
Technologies: 
Development phase: