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The Next Step Beyond Cfrp - Nanotubes?  
User currently offlineN328KF From United States of America, joined May 2004, 6491 posts, RR: 3
Posted (8 years 1 month 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2709 times:

With the 787 and other CFRP-based airframes, we are entering a new era of aircraft materials. But what's next? How easy would it be to replace the simple carbon fiber with carbon nanotube fibers? It should be substantially stronger, right? And nanotubes are getting to the point where they can (slowly) make sheets of them. Sounds like a candidate for aircraft construction in a couple of decades.


When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' T.Roosevelt
4 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineA342 From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 4700 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (8 years 1 month 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2709 times:

Quoting N328KF (Thread starter):
And nanotubes are getting to the point where they can (slowly) make sheets of them. Sounds like a candidate for aircraft construction in a couple of decades.

Yes, but the are horribly expensive, right ? There is still a lot to be done, and remember, aviation is quite conservative.



Exceptions confirm the rule.
User currently offlineBeech19 From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 936 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (8 years 1 month 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2709 times:

Quoting N328KF (Thread starter):
Sounds like a candidate for aircraft construction in a couple of decades.



Quoting A342 (Reply 1):
Yes, but the are horribly expensive, right ? There is still a lot to be done, and remember, aviation is quite conservative.

Hence why he said a couple of decades.
I like to remind people of a time when a 640K memory upgrade to your computer was $500-$1000 and people said you would never need more. HA HA HA! You can buy multple GB's worth of ultra high end memory now, let alone multiple computers.
CFRP will become "old technology" just like aluminum construction is today. They will replace it eventually... who knows Tube design will eventually get replaced, its only a matter of time. Back in the 50's when a "powerful" turbojet was producing 10-13K thrust and you told people back then that a pair of 115K thrust motors the size of a small houses would power a 240ft long, 7500nm+ range jet. They probably would have said "that sounds expensive" and maybe even said it was impossible. It will happen... just a matter of when.



KPAE via KBVY
User currently offlineBMIE70 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 109 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 1 month 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 2585 times:

I don't think nanotubes will replace carbon fibre fabrics as the directional strength capabilities of these fabrics are essential (they allow for optimisation for hoop stress and longitudinal bending). Nanotubes may be added to resins to improve off-axis strength (directions other than the fibre alignment) though.

User currently offlinePlanemaker From Tuvalu, joined Aug 2003, 6415 posts, RR: 34
Reply 4, posted (8 years 1 month 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 2578 times:

Quoting Beech19 (Reply 2):
people said you would never need more.

It was actually Bill Gates that first said that!!

Anyhow, back to the topic... no one can speculate accurately at this point in time about what material/process will be used for airframes decades from now.

As an aside, one interesting concept that never saw the light of day in use (though it was actually tested in a lab a few years ago) was aluminum foam.



Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
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