TFP and AGC AeroComposites develop lightweight composites for aircraft fuel systems

Patent-pending joint development enables tailored electrical resistance of composite components with potential to save up to 200 kg per aircraft.

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Technical Fibre Products Ltd (TFP, Kendal, Cumbria, U.K.) and AGC AeroComposites Yeovil (AGC, Yeovil, U.K. and formerly Tods Aerospace Ltd) today announced that they will debut a new lightweight composite solution for aircraft fuel systems at the Farnborough International Airshow (July 14-20, 2014, Farnborough, U.K.). This patent-pending joint development, reportedly 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 fiber reinforced composite pipe to be precisely controlled, therefore the structure is electrically isolating to resist lightning strike propagation but sufficiently conductive to dissipate the static electricity resulting from fluid movement.

This 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, potentially equating to an estimated fuel saving of up to 26,000 kg (57,320 lb) per aircraft per year.

Representatives from both TFP and AGC will be available on July 15 and 16 at stand B15F in Hall 1 at the Farnborough International Airshow to discuss this innovative technology.

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