Lightning Strike Protection of Aircraft Composite Structures: Analysis and Comparative Study

Open access

Abstract

Lightning strikes are a serious problem during operation of aircraft due to the increasing applicability of polymeric composites in aircraft structures and the weak electrical conducting properties of such structures. In composite structures, lightning strikes may cause extended damage sites which require to be appropriately maintained and repaired leading to increased operational costs. In order to overcome this problem various lightning strike protection solutions have been developed. Some of them are based on the immersion of metallic elements and particles while others use novel solutions such as intrinsically conductive polymers or other types of highly conductive particles including carbon nanotubes and graphene. The concept of fully organic electrically conductive composites based on intrinsically conductive polymers is currently being developed at the Silesian University of Technology. The results obtained in numerous tests, including concerning electrical conductivity and the capability to carry on high-magnitude electrical charges as well as certain operating properties need to be compared with existing solutions in lightning strike protection of aircraft. The following study presents the properties of the material developed for lightning strike protection and a comparative study with other solutions.

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Fatigue of Aircraft Structures

The Journal of Institute of Aviation

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SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.102

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