TFP, AGC AeroComposites to develop composites systems for aircraft fuel systems

Technical Fibre Products Ltd. and AGC AeroComposites have introduced a composites solution that enables the electrical resistance of composite components to be precisely controlled and has the potential to provide substantial weight savings.

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Technical Fibre Products Ltd. (TFP, Kendal, U.K.) and AGC AeroComposites (Seattle, Wash., USA) on July 4 announced that they will introuce a new lightweight composite solution for aircraft fuel systems. This joint development, patent pending, enables the electrical resistance of composite components to be precisely controlled and has the potential to provide a weight saving of up to 200 kg/440 lb per aircraft.

TFP and AGC have collaborated in the joint development of electrostatic and lightning-compatible composite pipes suitable for use in aircraft fuel systems. The shared technology enables the surface resistivity of the glass-based composite pipe to be precisely controlled, therefore the structure is electrically isolated to resist lightning strike propagation, but sufficiently conductive to dissipate the static electricity resulting from fluid movement.

The development is the first of its kind and presents the opportunity to save weight in aircraft fuel systems by replacing the heavier metallic equivalents, as well as enabling further weight and cost savings by a reduction in the palliative isolating/bonding techniques currently used. It is estimated that a weight saving of up to 200 kg per aircraft could be achieved, representing fuel savings of up to 26,000 kg/57,320 lb per aircraft per annum.