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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Direct Write Lightning Protection and Damage Detection

Completed Technology Project
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Project Description

Direct Write Lightning Protection and Damage Detection, Phase I
This project aims to improve conventional lightning strike protection in composite aircraft and proposes a novel method to monitor structures for damage upon lightning strike. Metallic fasteners joining composite parts must be properly grounded to reduce lightning damage and fire risk. Composite panels in the most critical areas e.g., near fuel tanks, incorporate lightning strike protection (LSP), an outer ply of conductive foil to handle large currents in the event of a lightning strike. Direct Write conductor traces deposited along fastener lines will connect fasteners together, via coated countersinks. The proposed improvement will be demonstrated through Direct Effect Lightning Testing. In addition, the Company's Direct Write process will be used to print SansEC sensors onto composite materials, demonstrating an effective method of sensor integration. Open circuit resonator patterns will be used to detect cracking through shifts in resonant frequency. More »

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Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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