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Improving Aircraft Safety with Metallic Nanoparticles

M. Jalali, S. Dauterstedt, F. Moupfouma, A. Michaud, R. Wuthrich
Bombardier Aerospace, CA

Keywords: metallic nanoparticle, composite aircraft, electromagnetic shielding


Metallic skins for commercial aircrafts have started to be replaced by Polymer Matrix Composites (PMCs). Weakness of very low conductivity and consequently very low electromagnetic shielding effectiveness in certain range of frequency is a disadvantage of PMCs. Expanded Copper Foil (ECF) which co-cures inside composite is used as a conventional solution to this problem. For very high frequency (in HIRF environment) composite material even with ECF looses the performance. Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) which generate electromagnetic (EM) threats are now permitted onboard. Studies done by NASA show the possibilities of coupling of PEDs energy through openings and slots (front door coupling) with antennas on aircraft fuselage in case of low interference path losses. Studies conducted by NIST confirm the low protection provided by composite aircraft against EM penetration mainly in HIRF environment. These researches clearly show that ECF does not represent the optimum solution in term of shielding effectiveness in the whole frequency range of interest. Therefore there is a real need to investigate for an alternative light weight EM shield. Nanocomposites (polymer phase + Ferromagnetic Metallic nanoparticles) have been studied as a possible solution in this work.
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