Aerospace system design decisions are based on cost, weight, strength, and operational environment impacts. Commercial airlines have a passenger centric focus: number of passengers, carry on storage space, and creature comfort offerings. Defense airframes focus on speed, amount of offensive payload, detectability, and range. The common construction elements are constrained by weight, volume, and efficiency variables. The laws of aerodynamics are harnessed by the ratio of weight to thrust. This efficiency quotient determines the final volume, weight, and speed which can be achieved.
There are tradeoffs for weight, volume, and speed of the airframe or of the amount of payload which can be delivered in what amount of time. The answers lay in the interrelationship of the elements used to deliver the desired functional behaviors.
SpecNano has shifted research focus to two-dimensional (2D) nanomaterials to identify the minimum required for desired functional behaviors. The removal of excess baggage at the nano layer delivers elements which are lighter, stronger, more flexible, and cheaper to produce.
Commercial airlines use cost factors for buy decisions on airframes. The less gross weight the smaller the engines, less cost for fuel, extended range and more airports to land larger aircraft equals more profit per flight.
Defense airframes want lower probability of detection, speed, range, and strength for increased maneuverability. The higher weight to thrust ratio generates more heat which must be now thermally conducted away for the airframe components before it reduces the strength and flexibility of the airframe components.
SpecNano has discovered 2D nanomaterials either singularly or in multiple layered 2D nanomaterials can cost effectively deliver the desired acceptable operational behavioral capabilities.
2D Crystals combined with polymers (plastics) to form composites:
- 100 times stronger than steel
- 1/4 the weight of steel
2D Crystals combined with Ceramics:
- Turbine blades less fragile to cracking
- Jet Engine cowlings more heat resistant
- Some are electrically conductive while others are insulators
- 4 times more conductive than copper at 1/4 the weight
- Some are thermally conductive while electrically non-conductive