Haydale, an advanced materials group, has launched a range of graphene-enhanced prepreg material for lightning strike protection, utilising functionalised nanomaterials to improve the electrical conductivity.
The material has been developed in collaboration with Airbus UK, BAE Systems, GE Aviation and Element Materials Technology Warwick, within the NATEP-supported GraCELs 2 project, where the first iterations of materials were developed and subjected to lighting strike tests. The consortium is now looking to manufacture a demonstrator component using the materials developed to establish composite manufacturing protocols as a showcase part for commercial purposes.
This prepreg material is designed to deliver a new generation of carbon fibre-reinforced composites having improved electrical conductivity. These materials can be used for structural components as well as for enclosures for the electronic avionics systems.
The materials developed have potential applications with regards to UAVs (drones) along with commercial aviation in general, and space applications. This technology has additional applications with regards to wind turbine blades particularly in offshore locations which are susceptible to lightning strike. Read full article here.
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