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nanotimes EU-Projects Lighter Cheaper Airframes


A European project has developed welding tech- niques to join airframes manufactured from a range of aluminium alloys. The aim was to produce lighter, safer and more cost-effective airframes for use in the aeronautics industry.


Weight and cost savings were possible through the use of integral structure or rivet-free aluminium airframes that used state-of-the-art welding techno- logy. These included laser beam welding (LBW) and friction stir welding (FSW) together with new alumi- nium alloys.


The EU-funded Wel-air consortium developed short distance LBW for aluminium alloys used in airframes. The project enabled researchers to gain a greater un- derstanding of problems such as hot tear, which are a result of irregularities in casting, and crack initiation and crack growth. The effects of ageing and corro- sion damage were established through an improved understanding of the micro-mechanisms taking place in short distance welds.


Contact: Delphine (Mrs) Allehaux, EADS Corporate Research Centre, Materials and Processes Department, 12 Rue Pasteur BP76, 92152 SURESNES CEDEX, France, Phone: +33-1-46973092: http://www.eads.com


New Alloys For Aircraft Design


The ground-breaking IDEA project investigated the application of new magnesium (Mg) alloys to the latest state-of-the-art aircraft by replacing compo-


10-07/08 :: July/August 2010


nents such as seat frames and electronic casings with the new materials.


New light-weight alloys were developed which pos- sessed the properties necessary for high pressure die casting, investment casting and sand casting. Resear- chers also created the modelling tools for characteri- sing the properties and standard of Mg-casings.


A design manual for cast magnesium components was produced and acted as a guide for aircraft desig- ners. The manual helped designers to select the most suitable Mg-alloys and production techniques for aircraft components.


Contact: Konrad Weiss, RWP Gesellschaft beratender Ingenieure für Berechnung und rechnergestützte Simu- lation GmbH, Bundesstr. 77, 52159, Roetgen, Germany, Phone: +49-247-112300: http://www.rwp-simtec.de


Polypropylene Textiles Can Take The Heat


Textile scientists from the Nerefite project develo- ped new fire retardant (FR) treatments for polypro- pylene. The consortium was part of an EU-funded safety initiative to develop FR treatments that enable fabrics to withstand conditions of extreme heat wi- thout causing a fire.


Researchers investigated new types of FR additives for the binder resin of the padding of non-woven polypropylene. The new compounds were develo- ped on the basis that they would cause the surface of the textile to swell to several times its thickness when exposed to fire, the so-called intumescence process.


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