MACANTA

Multifunctional Hierarchical Advanced Composite Aerostructures Utilising the Combined Properties of Different Carbon Nanotube (CNT) Assemblies

MACANTA

Multifunctional Hierarchical Advanced Composite Aerostructures Utilising the Combined Properties of Different Carbon Nanotube (CNT) Assemblies

MACANTA

Multifunctional Hierarchical Advanced Composite Aerostructures Utilising the Combined Properties of Different Carbon Nanotube (CNT) Assemblies

The advent of carbon-fibre composite passenger aircraft has been primarily driven by the need to reduce structural weight. Higher operating efficiencies per revenue passenger kilometre also contribute to a reduction in environmental impact where 1 kg of fuel saved equates to a reduction of 3.15 kg of carbon dioxide emissions. Indeed the European Union has set ambitious aircraft emission reduction targets by 2050 as the level of commercial air traffic is set to continue doubling every fifteen years. The high specific strength and stiffness, and corrosion and fatigue resistance of carbon-fibre composite materials, make them highly suitable for lightweight aerostructures. In laminated form, the material’s relatively low through-thickness strength and fracture toughness tempers these superior properties. This makes composite structures susceptible to impact damage.

Carbon-fibre composites also have low electrical conductivity. This necessitates the need for additional measures to ensure adequate lightning strike protection. The industry has adopted the use of a fine metallic mesh incorporated into the aerodynamic surfaces. This approach adds unnecessary weight to the structure as well as increasing manufacture and maintenance complexity. Composite materials also have low thermal conductivity which impacts on the design of anti-icing systems.

MACANTA brings together a research team with highly complementary expertise to increase the fundamental understanding of the influence of physical and chemical characteristics of different carbon nanotube (CNT) assemblies. The goal is to develop multifunctional composites which mitigate the known shortcomings as well as providing additional functionality. MACANTA also provides a training platform for the skills development of three postdoctoral researchers.

Professor Brian G. Falzon from Queen’s University Belfast leads the MACANTA project. Contact him to learn more about MACANTA.

23/11/2018

The MACANTA team has developed a new system to prevent ice build-up on planes.


31/10/2018

MACANTA is showcased at Advanced Engineering 2018 at the NEC (Birmingham, UK) on 31st October and 1st November 2018, as part of the QUB Advanced Composites Research Group stand. Visit...