Taking Flight with Epoxy
In the awe-inspiring world of aerospace, epoxy-based composite materials have become the wings that lift us higher. From extending aircraft lifespans to reducing weight, epoxies are soaring high as essential components in the aerospace industry.
Epoxy’s aerospace journey began in the 1970s when a revolutionary boron-reinforced epoxy composite graced the empennages of US fighter aircraft F14 and F15. Initially used in secondary structures, these composites soon found their way into the heart of planes – wings and fuselages. Modern aircrafts like the F18 and F22 boast up to 24% epoxy-based composites!
European aviation giant Airbus recognised the potential of epoxy composites early on. In the 1980s, they introduced these game-changers in the rudders of commercial aircraft like the A300 and A310. Today, most planes fly lighter, thanks to epoxy composites, ensuring fuel-efficient, sustainable travel.
Epoxy’s Role in Longevity
Epoxy resins prove indispensable in preserving the structural integrity of aircraft. They fend off corrosion, working as anti-corrosion coatings and adhesives, replacing hefty mechanical fasteners with lightweight alternatives.
Sustainable Skies: A Greener Future
As the world strives for sustainability, reducing aircraft emissions is paramount. Enter epoxy composites: by lightweighting airframe structures, these composites pave the way for better fuel economy, reduced CO2 emissions, and an improved carbon footprint.
Did you know?
Epoxy composites have transformed aircraft tail fins, cutting the number of pieces needed from 2,000 to under 100! The aviation industry anticipates over 30,000 new aircraft deliveries and the refitting of 10,000 existing planes in the next two decades. With a focus on weight reduction for fuel efficiency and lower operating costs, epoxy composites empower airlines to succeed in a fiercely competitive global environment.
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 Structural Composites in Cars: Charting their manufacturing processes and evolution, in both racing and road cars, Road and Track, 2011