The transportation industry is increasingly adopting advanced materials, which, as a result of increases in specific strength, offer improved efficiency, lower emissions, and decreased fuel consumption compared to traditional metal components. However, the transition to advanced materials has been slowed as structural analyses have become more complex and demanding.
Thin-ply HSCs are being used by Opterus in several commercial, NASA and DoD missions that achieve unprecedented packaging and deployed stiffness performance. Compared to traditional composites, HSCs exhibit improved damage tolerance, resistance to microcracking, improved aging and fatigue resistance, reduced minimum-gage thickness, and increased scalability.
Many companies that develop new composite materials are surprised when their product does not perform as expected during the physical testing and certification process. In addition to the many years wasted on developing the material, companies often spend more than $50M on developing and testing a single new material concept.
Have you ever experienced your car breaking down due to part failure, with little or no warning? This could be because the part was designed without taking into account how it would be affected by material behavior or manufacturing variability.
In 1969, Grumman Aerospace was the first company to successfully introduce advanced composites into a commercial airplane. The boron-epoxy laminated horizontal stabilizer used in the F-14A was 15% lighter and 18% less costly than its metal counterpart.