The Significance of High Temperature Composites in Airborne Systems

Tue, Apr 13, 2021 at 6:15PM

The Significance of High Temperature Composites in Airborne Systems

Airborne systems traveling at high altitudes and extreme speeds are subjected to a severe and unforgiving aerothermal environment. These systems must be able to withstand the large temperature fluctuations and high pressures that are associated with this type of flight profile in order to operate safely and reliably. Not only that, but they are also expected to survive the constant vibration, threat of hydrometeor impact and the relentless effects of aging. Fortunately, materials technology has advanced to a point where a variety of heat-resistant materials are available for use in the aerospace and defense industry. Read on to learn why high temperature composites are playing a vital role in the development and fielding of successful airborne systems.

Heat-Resistant Materials

Ever since the 1980s, composites have become increasingly popular within the aerospace community due to the performance, weight, and lifecycle cost advantages well engineered solutions offer. To put it simply, composite materials consist of two or more blended materials, (Often a fiber reinforcement and resin matrix in aerospace applications) that produce a final product with more desirable and useful characteristics than either of the base materials on their own. Composite materials can be tailored to exhibit specific properties such as exceptional resistances to impact, corrosion, and temperature fluctuations.

High temperature composites made at Mentis use polymers with exceptionally high thermal stability, superior chemical resistance, and outstanding mechanical properties that make them ideal for challenging applications such as radomes, thermal protection systems, military-specific applications, and more. At Mentis, many of our high temperature composites are manufactured using braiding. Braided composites are more popular than ever because the braiding process allows for the simultaneous application of many fibers, reducing cycle times, and the resulting fiber architecture is highly valued for its strength, toughness, and damage resistance.

Effective Insulation

Missiles and other airborne systems, including aircraft, house sensitive electronics and systems inside of them, and high temperature insulation is crucial for the protection of these components from temperature fluctuations and aerothermal environment. In aerospace applications, High temperature composites are being used more and more as an alternative solution to metals in challenging applications due to their superior performance and even considerable weight reductions.

There are plenty of ways in which components of aircraft are exposed to large temperature swings. For example, thrust reversal systems slow aircraft by rerouting engine exhaust toward the front of the craft, which exposes extreme heat to the surrounding components via the exhaust. As you move away from commercial aviation and into the realm of hypersonic systems, the thermal environment becomes more extreme. Surface temperatures on hypersonic vehicles can exceed 3000°F at the leading edge and nose cone, and these craft all have systems which need to be insulated from this heat. Mentis has developed high temperature materials suitable for use as Radio Frequency apertures or thermal protections systems on these advanced hypersonic applications.

Whether pushing the bounds of hypersonic vehicle technology or enhancing the safety and efficiency of jet airliners, high temperature composites will certainly play a role the future of aerospace technology.

No matter what your organizational needs are, Mentis Sciences is sure to have the solution. We understand the aerospace industry and are experts in the design and fabrication of high temperature composite materials.

Our services include coupon and sub-structure testing of high temperature systems, design and analysis of complex composite components, and composite fabrication. We have developed and optimized solutions for high temperature missile materials, multifunctional composite materials, and so much more. Contact Mentis Sciences today to learn more about our extensive portfolio of work and how we can serve you.

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