Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute
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TsAGI and the Institute of General and Inorganic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) work on creation of detector polymer coating for aircraft structures

22 August 2016

As part of the joint fundamental research in the field of aerospace technologies conducted by TsAGI and RAS institutes, the participants work to create a special shock-sensitive polymer coating for aircraft structures. This project is implemented with the combined efforts of the experts from the Central AeroHydrodynamic Institute named after professor N.E. Zhukovsky (part of the National Research Center ‘Institute named after N.E.Zhukovsky‘) and N.S. Kurnakov Institute of General and Inorganic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IGIC RAS).

The invention is intended for detection of barely visible damage on aircraft structures made of composite materials up to 0.5–1 mm deep. Such defects are likely to appear on aircraft during operation, including transportation, parking, and technical maintenance. They may be caused by different factors such as personnel error during repair, impacts by hailstones, stones, concrete fragments coming off from landing gear wheels during takeoff and landing. In addition, heavy loaded components of aircraft structures from composites have areas with hard-to-detect defects. Therefore, creation of shock-sensitive polymer coatings is a critical task for aircraft diagnostics and detection of similar risky areas.

It is expected that the detector polymer coatings, in addition to other resources, will allow timely visual inspection of aircraft with no need for complex equipment and highly qualified personnel. This method simplifies the acquisition of reliable data on structural state and the technical support of airframe flight worthiness to a great extent.

The research work is to be completed next year after the invention passes full-scale aircraft unit tests.

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