Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


CF-THREAD — Result In Brief

Project ID: 278156
Funded under: FP7-JTI
Country: United Kingdom

Stronger and lighter aircraft

Scientists have tested a composite material used in aeronautical structures and now know the range of fatigue that these materials can undergo before failure.
Stronger and lighter aircraft
State-of-the-art composite aeroplanes like the A350 burn up to 20 % less fuel than those from previous generations. This is because new, composite materials allow engineers to develop much lighter aircraft frames and leaner engines.

The lightweight carbon-fibre composites that are used in airliners have to be as strong and durable as their metal counterparts. The composites also have to be flexible enough to withstand damages caused by impact, and adaptable to temperature and humidity.

To ensure that composite materials comply with all of these requirements, the materials have to undergo rigorous testing. The EU-funded CF-THREAD (Composites under fatigue: Temperature and humidity related environmental ageing damage) was a project dedicated to the testing of a carbon fibre-reinforced epoxy material, Cytek Cycom 977-2.

Cytek Cycom 977-2 is used in structures such as fuselages and wings. These are important aircraft components and experience high pressure as well as extreme changes in temperature and humidity.

Aircrafts are often built to last up to 20 years, but testing individual components for that long is highly impractical. To overcome time constraints, CF-THREAD used a combination of controlled experiments and theoretical principles to test Cytek Cycom 977-2 thoroughly.

CF-THREAD tested the tensile strength and other properties of Cytek Cycom 977-2. Then, they tested the effects of humidity, temperature, oxidation, and stress and strain on the material.

The results can now be used by engineers when designing aircraft. These guidelines will not only improve the design of a wide range of aircraft, they will preserve the lives of the people flying in them.

Related information


Aircraft, composite material, fatigue, carbon-fibre, temperature, humidity, Cytek Cycom 977-2
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