Aerospace industry, laboratory has created lighter nano materials

“The aerospace industry, among the different application areas of nanotechnology, is the one that derives the greatest gain from the use of nanotechnological materials and devices. The lightening of the load associated with the components of aeronautical and space aircraft, obtained through the use of ever lighter and stronger composite materials, or ever smaller electronic devices, allows to save considerable quantities of fuel and increase the payload “. According to Sabrina Zuccalà, president of the international nanotechnology laboratory “4ward360” who will present in California a new project for the production of nanomaterials, dedicated to the sector that will lighten the aircraft, save fuel and increase efficiency and safety. “As well as the introduction of advanced energy production systems, from photovoltaic to thermoelectric – continues Zuccalà – it allows to supply the necessary on-board instrumentation for longer and more consistently. The creation of faster, safer and more functional aircraft, the ultimate goal of this branch of heavy industry, involves the use of solutions that are as small as they have great potential “. “The most promising materials – continues Zuccalà – for the aircraft structure are nanocomposites such as glass fibers / polymeric matrices reinforced by nanoparticles that release a liquid that promotes polymerization around any fractures or nano-clays for structural reinforcement and the increase of thermal resistance in nanocomposites. As for the development of new “light” materials, the best are polymeric nanomaterials reinforced with carbon nanotubes and boron nitride and epoxy resins reinforced with nanoclay. In fact, these materials offer a high ratio between toughness and weight, impact resistance and radiation protection. Among 4ward360’s objectives is precisely that of developing multifunctional composites that combine insulating, acoustic, humidifying properties, etc. in a single structural component to reduce the number of components and therefore costs. Nanostructured metals find applications in the parts most subject to corrosion and wear (landing gears, brakes, etc.). Finally, coatings (in the form of thin films) that incorporate nanopowders can be used as self-cleaning or anti-glare layers for the windows. “” The space industry – concludes Zuccalà – is characterized by huge investments and advanced technologies are the subject of constant attention and evaluation. The two primary segments are satellite and missile manufacturing and launch technologies. At the European level, the use of nanotechnology in the space sector is seen as a long-term development sector and prominent fields of interest concern communications, energy production and storage, propulsion systems. This is why nanocrystalline materials, nanocomposites and bio-mimetics for space applications are becoming increasingly strategic “.