Dr Melissa Riley is heading to the 2017 International Conference on Lightning and Static Electricity in Nagoya, Japan, where she will present TWI’s paper on ‘The Application of Thermal Spray Coating Technology for Lightning Strike Protection of Composite Aircraft Structures.’
The conference, which is being held 13-15 September, is a biennial event that aims to bring together experts from all fields on the subject of lightning and static electricity. The event has a focus on how lightning interacts with ground, air and sea systems, which makes TWI’s paper, written by Melissa Riley, Andy Tabecki, Paul Burling and Dave Harvey, particularly apt.
Traditionally, lightning strike protection on composite aircraft components has been provided by embedding expanded metal foil just below the surface of fibre-reinforced composites during manufacture. However, this is a costly, highly specialised manual process, so TWI has developed the use of thermal spray coatings as an alternative lightning strike protection system, working with leading aerospace manufacturers to develop the technology to TRL4+. This process sees metallic coatings applied to CFRP post-manufacture to offer significant benefits in terms of performance, ease of manufacture and also damage tolerance and repair.
Melissa will also spend a couple of days visiting TWI Members in Japan ahead of the conference in order to update them on developments with TWI, particularly in the area of surface engineering.
With over 25 years of working partnerships, Japan is one of the largest markets for TWI outside of the UK and, with over 50 Members and several ongoing projects, this important relationship looks set to continue for years to come.
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