As part of the C-JOINTS project consortium, TWI and Cranfield University are currently working to develop innovative lightweight solutions to provide lightning strike protection on carbon composite aircraft structures. The reference aircraft is a small passenger aircraft and the aim of the project is to replace the copper mesh protection system with an alternative to reduce the aircraft weight and simplify the manufacturing process for the composite components.
To this end, the reference test specimens have undergone lightning strike testing to establish the baseline performance. It is expected that the innovative solutions will have better performance. These tests are being conducted by an external test house who are world-leaders in the lightning strike testing.
The innovative solutions proposed by the consortium will combine thermally sprayed metallic coatings onto composite components containing tufted metallic threads to provide current paths though the aircraft structure."
This project builds on previous work at TWI related to lightning strike protection.
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