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Effect of through-thickness electrical conductivity of CFRPs on lightning strike damages
- Kumar, Vipin, Yokozeki, Tomohiro, Okada, Takao, Hirano, Yoshiyasu, Goto, Teruya, Takahashi, Tatsuhiro, Ogasawara, Toshio
- Composites 2018 v.114 pp. 429-438
- aircraft, carbon fibers, composite materials, electrical conductivity, heat treatment, lightning, modulus of rupture, nondestructive methods, plastics, thermography, ultrasonography
- Making carbon fiber reinforced plastics electrically conductive is an amended solution to the current lightning strike protection technology. However, optimization of the through-thickness electrical conductivity to meet a safety requirement of aircraft against lightning strikes remains unexplored. In this work, four carbon fiber reinforced plastics panels with different through-thickness electrical conductivity were fabricated using a polyaniline-based conductive resin. Their through-thickness electrical conductivity was tailored to achieve specific values using a controlled thermal treatment. The fabricated carbon fiber reinforced plastics panels were tested against a simulated lightning current of 40 kA, and the influence of through-thickness electrical properties on the performance of lightning strike protection was studied. Thermography data and ultrasonic non-destructive testing images confirmed least damage on the sample with higher electrical conductivity. Specimen with through-thickness electrical conductivity of around 110 S/m was able to retain about 92% of the residual flexural strength after the lightning test.