Aerospace Applications of Conductive Polymers

Wednesday, October 14, 2015: 09:05
213-B (Phoenix Convention Center)
P. Kinlen (Boeing) and W. Schuette (Boeing)
Historically, the aerospace industry has driven major developments in polymer and material science. Technology has evolved from wood and coated fabric to metals to advanced polymer composite systems in response to demands of both the commercial and defense aerospace industries. Future systems will require event more advanced technologies such as those afforded by electroactive and conductive polymers (EAPs). The unique properties of these materials provide the ability to construct intelligent systems which produce a defined, predictable response to an input. For example, as a corrosion protection coating, an EAP would sense corrosion at the molecular level and release a corrosion inhibitor before major damage could occur. A self-detoxifying system would sense a toxin and respond by releasing bactericide to kill it. As depicted below, material advancements being sought for future aerospace systems include:
  1. Controllable optical absorption and emission across a wide spectral range
  2. Tunable conductivity from 10-5 to >10,0000 S/cm for antistatic and shielding
  3. Controlled, on demand release of active molecules for self-repair, detoxification and corrosion protection
  4. High power energy storage and capture

This presentation will explore some of the issues involved with developing and transitioning EAP technology into current and future aerospace products.