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Composite Materials Improve Efficiency
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Summary
The demand for lightweight and durable materials for construction of heavy objects is continuously on the rise. University of Bath along with Airbus engineers is working on a project to make carbon fiber composites – a material which is rigid, lightweight and capable of withstanding immense pressure. In its making, layers of carbon fiber are held together by epoxy resin. A laminate is created on a mould and the laminate is heated to about 200 degrees. It is also subjected to about seven times the atmospheric pressure. The light weight material gives rise to a great deal of fuel saving over the life of an aircraft. Shape changing piezoelectric materials can also be used. They change the shape of the wing during the course of the aircraft and thereby optimize the performance of the aircraft. Composite materials find applications in the renewable energy sector too.
Keywords: University of Bath, Airbus, carbon fiber composite, epoxy resin, piezoelectric, wind energy
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