New Delft material concept for aircraft wings could save billions

September 26, 2007

Building aircraft wings with a special aluminium fibre combination makes them nearly immune to metal fatigue. The application of this technology, partly developed at Delft University of Technology, will lead to substantial savings. The unusual qualities of this special material (called CentrAl, an abbreviation of Central Reinforced Aluminium) can make a significant contribution to the development of truly energy-efficient, 'green' aircraft. Lower fuel consumption and reduction of maintenance costs could lead to worldwide savings as high as $100 billion.

Fatigue is a phenomenon that affects materials after long-term exposure to cyclic loading. As a result of varying loads, fractures eventually occur. The new, high-quality CentrAl aluminium constructions are stronger than the carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) constructions that have recently been used in aircraft wings such as the Boeing 787. By using CentrAl wing constructions, the weight can be reduced by another 20 per cent compared to CFRP constructions. Furthermore, using CentrAl results in considerably lower manufacturing and maintenance costs.

The CentrAl concept comprises a central layer of fibre metal laminate (FML), sandwiched between one or more thick layers of high-quality aluminium. This creates a robust construction material which is not only exceptionally strong, but also insensitive to fatigue. The CentrAl technique allows for simple repairs to be carried out immediately, as is the case in aluminium constructions, - but not the case when using CFRP constructions.

This patented new concept is one of the results of an intensive collaboration between the company GTM Advanced Structures, founded in The Hague in 2004 and specialising in new aircraft materials and constructions, the American aluminium company Alcoa, and the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering of Delft University of Technology. During a conference in Delft (Conference on Damage Tolerance of Aircraft Structures: 25-28 September 2007), GTM and Alcoa have presented the new concept to international experts in the field of metal fatigue and damage sensitivity of aircraft constructions. The US Air Force, Alcoa and GTM will also shed new light on the fact that the new CentrAl materials create possibilities for so-called 'Carefree structures'. These are aircraft constructions that are less sensitive to damage caused, for example, by fatigue, hail storms, other weather phenomena, trucks that collide with the aircraft and corrosion. Carefree aircraft constructions will be characterised by significantly reduced maintenance costs.
-end-


Delft University of Technology

Related Fatigue Articles from Brightsurf:

Got fatigue? Study further pinpoints brain regions that may control it
Scientists at Johns Hopkins Medicine using MRI scans and computer modeling say they have further pinpointed areas of the human brain that regulate efforts to deal with fatigue.

Biomarkers link fatigue in cancer, Parkinson's
Biological markers responsible for extreme exhaustion in patients with cancer have now been linked to fatigue in those with Parkinson's disease, according to new research from Rice University.

Fatigue is a common but underestimated symptom of endometriosis
Two papers published in Human Reproduction journal show that the prevalence of fatigue is more than doubled in women with endometriosis but is underestimated, meaning that doctors should be making greater efforts to discuss and treat this debilitating symptom in these women, and that a history of some types of child abuse is linked to an increased likelihood of endometriosis in adulthood.

New 3-D display takes the eye fatigue out of virtual reality
A new type of 3-D display could solve the long-standing problem eye fatigue when using VR and AR equipment by greatly improving the viewing comfort of these wearable devices.

Chronic fatigue syndrome linked to imbalanced microbiome
Scientists at the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health have discovered abnormal levels of specific gut bacteria related to chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis, or ME/CFS, in patients with and without concurrent irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS.

Conquering metal fatigue
Researchers have found a way to greatly reduce the effects of fatigue in steel by incorporating a laminated nanostructure into the material.

Anakinra does not seem to improve fatigue severity in women with chronic fatigue syndrome
The anti-inflammatory biologic drug anakinra does not seem to reduce fatigue severity in women with chronic fatigue syndrome.

Reducing cancer-related fatigue
A new article published online by JAMA Oncology analyzed which of four commonly recommended treatments -- exercise, psychological, the combination of both, or pharmaceutical -- for cancer-related fatigue appeared to be most effective.

Urine test for fatigue could help prevent accidents
Doctors, pilots, air traffic controllers and bus drivers have at least one thing in common -- if they're exhausted at work, they could be putting lives at risk.

Genetic cause for shift work fatigue discovered
Some people adapt easily to shift work, but not everyone can handle constant disruptions to their daily rhythm.

Read More: Fatigue News and Fatigue Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.