Researchers in Canada have unveiled plans for a factory that will use nanotechnology to extract cellulose from wood and use it to form composite materials for aircraft.
And as the report points out, it’s not so implausible when you consider that Boeing and Airbus are using significant amounts of carbon composite materials in their latest programmes.
Pic: Mr A.V. Roe standing infront of his Avro No.1 Triplane powered by a 24h.p. Antoinette engine had the right idea.
The factory which has been designed by FP Innovations, a nonprofit research organization supporting Canada’s forestry industry, uses a process extracts cellulose particles just 20 nanometres long and 20 nanometres wide, and combined with other materials, the fibres are tough enough to form a new generation of composite materials.
If you want to learn a little more about the sort of future composite technology Airbus is, for example, currently studying, listen again to the Institute of Mechanical Engineering’s recent John Player Lecture where Roger Digby who is Head of Materials and Processes Integration hailed the composite hybrid airframe as an evolutionary step in the European manufacturer’s ’Intelligent’ aiframe philosophy.
He also outlined the potential benefits of nanotechnology in the airframes of the future such as improved physical and mechanical properties in composite structures, as well as multifunctionality and high performance characteristics.