Have engineers found a way to make greener aeroplanes?

Engineers at MIT have discovered a manufacturing method that will make flying greener than ever before.

The researchers found a way of creating aerospace-grade carbon-fibre composites using only 1% of the energy of current methods, and none of the ovens and autoclaves.

It was found that the carbon nanotubes can fuse the composite materials for aeroplanes by being used “like an electric blanket.”

Up until now, fusing these materials together securely would require the use of giant ovens and industrial pressure chambers. The work done by the MIT engineers not only eliminates the need for these machines but it also means that the whole process can be sped up.

According to Brian Wardle, professor of aeronautics and astronautics, the latest results show a composite "as strong as the gold-standard autoclave process composite used for primary aerospace structures.”

"Beyond airplanes, most of the composite production in the world is composite pipes, for water, gas, oil, all the things that go in and out of our lives. This could make making all those things, without the oven and autoclave infrastructure, possible,” he said.

The researchers’ next task will be to scale up the pressure-generating carbon nanotube. Up until now, all of the experiments have involved samples that are only a few centimetres wide. Now, they’ll try to use one big enough to tackle industrial equipment.

Community comments

Latest News

Metsä Wood provided the components for an easily movable office building

Posted 26.03.2020 by Dan Robinson

This Dutch office building was designed to be dismantled

Kawneer systems help herald a gateway to a unique building

Posted 25.03.2020 by Dan Robinson

bimstore manufacturers Kawneer played a key role in the construction of an impressive university facility

EGGER OSB HDX - the lighter and stronger alternative

Posted 24.03.2020 by Dan Robinson

Egger's 30mm OSB HDX is is a game-changer for your next flooring project