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December 30 , 2010

Carbon Nanotube Enhanced Aerospace Composite Materials

A New Generation of Multifunctional Hybrid Structural Composites


The well documented increase in the use of high performance composites as structural materials in aerospace components is continuously raising the demands in terms of dynamic performance, structural integrity, reliable life monitoring systems and adaptive actuating abilities. Current technologies address the above issues separately; material property tailoring and custom design practices aim to the enhancement of dynamic and damage tolerance characteristics, whereas life monitoring and actuation is performed with embedded sensors that may be detrimental to the structural integrity of the component.

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This publication explores the unique properties of carbon nanotubes (CNT) as an additive in the matrix of Fibre Reinforced Plastics (FRP), for producing structural composites with improved mechanical performance as well as sensing/actuating capabilities. The successful combination of the CNT properties and existing sensing actuating technologies leads to the realization of a multifunctional FRP structure. The current volume presents the state of the art research in this field.

The contributions cover all the aspects of the novel composite systems, i.e. modeling from nano to macro scale, enhancement of structural efficiency, dispersion and manufacturing, integral health monitoring abilities, Raman monitoring, as well as the capabilities that ordered carbon nanotube arrays offer in terms of sensing and/or actuating in aerospace composites.

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