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Nanotechnology In Aerospace Materials: Project Work



The aerospace industry is one of the most important heavy industries in the world. Many companies rely on their ability to transport both products and people around the world at speed. Therefore, it is unsurprising that the global aircraft manufacturing market was valued at approximately 400 billion USD in 2017, with a predominant portion of this accounted for by military spending. However, along with substantial economic value comes huge resource consumption, and one of the largest carbon footprints on the planet relative to the size of the market. For this reason, the primary drivers in current aerospace R&D are towards lighter structural materials and more efficient engines – the uniting goal being to curb fuel consumption and carbon emissions associated with air travel and freight. The potential nano materials and nano engineering have in helping to achieve these goals, justifies the significant interest in nanotechnology expressed by the aerospace industry.

The aerospace applications for nanotechnology include high strength, low weight composites, improved electronics and displays with low power consumption, variety of physical sensors, multifunctional materials with embedded sensors, large surface area materials and novel filters and membranes for air purification, nano materials in tires and brakes and numerous others. This lecture will introduce nano materials particularly carbon nanotubes, and discuss their properties. The status of composite preparation – polymer matrix, ceramic matrix and metal matrix – will be presented. Examples of current developments in the above application areas, particularly physical sensors, actuators, nano electromechanical systems etc. will be presented to show what the aerospace industry can expect from the field of nanotechnology.

Properties of Materials required for Airframe Structure :

The design requirements of the materials to be used in Airframe Structure are:

  1. Light Weight
  2. High Strength
  3. High Toughness
  4. Corrosion Resistance
  5. Easy Reparability & Reusability
  6. Less Maintenance & Durability

Nano-materials which can fulfill the requirements The modern aviation design requirements like faster, miniature, highly maneuverable, self-healing, intelligence guided, smart, eco-friendly, light weight and stealth systems warrant for materials with extraordinary mechanical and multifunctional properties.


Polishing SlurriesAluminum OxideFaster rate of surface removal reduces operating costs
 Cerium OxideLess material required due to small size of particles
 Tin OxideBetter finishing due to finer particles
CapacitorsBarium TitanateLess material required for a given level of capacitance
 TantalumHigh capacitance due to reduction in layer thickness and increased surface area resulting from smaller particle size
 AluminaThinner layers possible, thus significant potential for device miniaturization
DopantsWide variety of materials required depending on applicationImproved compositional uniformity Reduction in processing temperature reduces operating and capital costs
PigmentsIron OxideLower material costs, as opacity is obtained with smaller particles
 Zirconium Silicate Titanium DioxideBetter physical-optical properties due to enhanced control over particles
Structural CeramicsAluminium Oxide Aluminium Titanate


Zirconium Oxide

Improved mechanical properties Reduced production costs due to lower sintering temperatures
Catalysts Titanium DioxideIncreased activity due to smaller particle size
  Cerium Oxide Alumina Increased wear resistance
Hard CoatingsTungsten Carbide Thin coatings reduce the amount of material required
 AluminaThin coatings reduce the amount of material required
Conductive InksSilver Tungsten NickelIncreased conductivity reduces consumption of valuable metals Lower processing temperatures Allows electron lithography
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