Multifunctional Polymer Nanocomposites in Next Generation Smart Structures
Pp. 51-90 (40)
Zaffar Mohammad Khan and Muhammad Rizwan Saleem
The development of nano-structured materials have opened a new paradigm
whereby the nano-reinforcement and matrix resin can be tailored to optimize the
physical and mechanical properties of resulting reinforced nano-composite materials
manifold. The potential applications of this revolutionary class of nano-composite
promise a significant opportunity for improving structural dynamic properties. This has
led to emergence of new frontiers in mechanical, electronic and aerospace structures
focusing on multi functionalized, self assembling and self healing materials. Such kind
of materials can sense and autonomously respond to changes in environmental
conditions, flight envelope and structural health, ultimately enhancing the durable
performance characteristics and mission survivability for next generation aerospace
vehicles. This chapter reviews the latest developments in the area of nano-composites
with reference to nano-clays, nano-fibers and nano-tubes and their applications in smart
aerospace structures. The classification, characterization and applications of various
types of nano-composites have been discussed in aerospace industry in detail. It will
highlight the applications of nano-composites in relaunch vehicles, space ladders,
ablatives, internal motor casing and nano-modified carbon/carbon composites.
Successes in this field have sprawled the subsequent attempts to emulate biological,
bio-mimetic and smart materials. This will result in paradigm shift in space doctrine and
philosophy for establishing space stations in low earth orbit in times to come.
Composite materials, nanoclay, nanocarbon tubes, nano fibers, smart
structures, fiber optic sensors, morphing wings, nanophotonics, photonic structures.
Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Institute of Space Technology, Islamabad Highway, Islamabad, Pakistan.