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N328KF
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Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 3:50 am

The Next Step Beyond Cfrp - Nanotubes?

Fri Nov 17, 2006 5:30 am

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.' -Theodore Roosevelt
 
A342
Posts: 4017
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2005 11:05 pm

RE: The Next Step Beyond Cfrp - Nanotubes?

Fri Nov 17, 2006 5:35 am

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.
 
beech19
Posts: 887
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 11:30 am

RE: The Next Step Beyond Cfrp - Nanotubes?

Fri Nov 17, 2006 5:59 am

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
 
bmie70
Posts: 95
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 9:12 pm

RE: The Next Step Beyond Cfrp - Nanotubes?

Sat Nov 18, 2006 7:56 am

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.
 
planemaker
Posts: 5411
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2003 12:53 pm

RE: The Next Step Beyond Cfrp - Nanotubes?

Sat Nov 18, 2006 8:07 am

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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