Design of a Low-Cost Aircraft Structural Material Based on Epoxy: Recycled Rubber Composites Modified with Multifunctional Nano Particles
Recycling is an intensely studied subject in terms of sustainable development and it offers clean and cost-efficient solutions in many industries. For this reason, manufacturers tend to find clean and cost-efficient solutions by utilizing recycled materials to produce new components. In this regard, rubbers have a very wide usage area in aeronautic and automotive industries including structural and interior body components. Rubbers are also used to modify brittle polymer components in the existence of hard, resistant fillers. In this study, fresh scrap EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) rubbers are used to manufacture novel composites by modifying epoxy resin with the inclusion of alumina (Al2O3) fibers (AFs). In case of a homogeneous distribution, addition of AFs ensures desired mechanical properties due to its favorable structural characteristics such as interlocking effects of fibers. These novel composites can be used in the manufacture of various solid structural parts of the fuselage and suspension pads in aerospace industry. This paper primarily explains the manufacturing of these composites and after the mechanical characterization, numerical approaches are implemented to test the durability of the structures. The mechanical and physical properties of these composite systems are studied in the present work. Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA) analyses are carried out to determine thermal-mechanical properties. Three-point bending and compression tests are performed to see the mechanical behavior of the composites. In the end, manufactured compositions are tested numerically in terms of the structural reliability of a body component in a commercial aircraft.
KeywordsThree-point bending Epoxy Recycled rubber Alumina fibers FEM
The authors thank Dr. H-A. Alhas from Airbus-Space, London/UK for general support and also for his valuable discussion in certain stages of this project.
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