Boeing’s new 7E7 will become the first commercial jet to be made with most of its primary structure consisting of composite materials.
Some of the composite materials that will be used include graphite and toughened epoxy resin, and TiGr, a titanium/graphite composite. The graphite/epoxy material will make up the bilk of the composite materials used in the 7E7, while the titanium/graphite composite will be used for the wings.
Composite materials got the nod over rival aluminium alloys as they provided greater durability, reduced maintenance, and increased potential for future development. Interestingly, there was little weight difference between the two materials and the cost of the fabricating composite components has become more competitive.
It is also possible that sensors will be embedded into the composite structures to monitor the health and help schedule maintenance.
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