From left: Prof. Ravi Silva, Director of the Advanced Technology Institute at University of Surrey; Michal Delkowski, Development Engineer and Project Technical Lead at Airbus Friedrichshafen; and Dr. Jose Anguita, Dr. Christopher Smith and James Hodges from the University of Surrey)
Now, Scientists and engineers from Airbus and the University of Surrey have found a solution: a multi-layered nano-barrier that bonds with the CFRP and eliminates the need for multiple bake-out stages and the controlled storage required in its unprotected state.
Professor Ravi Silva, Director of the Advanced Technology Institute at the University of Surrey, is confident that the newly developed reinforced composite is a "significant improvement over similar methods and materials already on the market."
In a paper published by scientific journal Nature Materials, the engineers showed that their thin barrier – measuring only sub-micrometres in thickness, compared to the tens of micrometres of current space mission coatings – is less susceptible to stress and contamination at the surface, keeping its integrity even after multiple thermal cycles.
"These encouraging results suggest that our barrier could eliminate the considerable costs and problems associated with using CFRPs in space missions,"
Professor Ravi Silva, Director of the Advanced Technology Institute at the University of Surrey
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