1. Introduction The traditional material for aircrafts is aluminium while composite material

1500 WordsApr 23, 20196 Pages
1. Introduction The traditional material for aircrafts is aluminium while composite material content has always been less than 20% until the recent years. The latest aircraft models by Airbus and Boeing have composites content of 50% or more. (Mauricuien, n.d.) It has brought about many benefits to the industry but also causes difficulties in maintenance and safety issues. The drive of the material evolution is due the economic factors and higher expectation of society as technology advances. The report includes how the advantages of the composite material make it attractive by helping to solve the issues faced by the industry. 2. Composite Materials Composite materials are made of at least two materials. They are mixed together to…show more content…
(IATA, n.d.) Therefore the fuel price hike and carbon emission issues made the light weight composite very attractive as it lowered fuel consumption and carbon emission. Corrosion and Fatigue Free Composite materials are highly resistant to chemicals and do not corrode easily. (Ingenia, n.d.) Hence, reducing the amount of chemicals needed to prevent corrosion. (Airbus, n.d.) Airliners used to face fatigue crack and corrosion with the traditional aluminium floor beams. However, when the Boeing 777 was designed with composite floor beams, not a single floor beam has been replaced till date after flying for more than 10 years. (Boeing, n.d.) Lower Maintenance Cost The corrosion and fatigue free characteristic of composite materials has helped to reduce the amount of scheduled maintenance greatly. Aircrafts are able to have a longer interval between each scheduled maintenance by having its first visual structure check at 6 years and first heavy check at 12 years. (Boeing, n.d.) This new maintenance schedule was introduced for the Boeing 787 and the Airbus 350. Man hours for each check can also be reduced by 20%. Overall reduction of labour hours over 25 years for different checks can be seen in Figure 1. (Boeing, n.d.) The reduction of scheduled maintenance and labour hours significantly aid in the reduction of the overall maintenance cost. The longer scheduled maintenance intervals would also allow the aircrafts to sustain a longer airborne period. Figure 1
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