22.214.171.124 Relevant Product segments and Applications (aeronautics)
Several application areas have been identified: (1) airframe and components; (2) engines and components; (3) landing gears; (4) coatings and paints and (5) interior equipment and furnishing [22b] and (6) avionics and other electrical/electronic systems (incl. wiring). The first two application areas are further analysed later on this report.
Future airframes1 will need lighter, high-performance, robust and cost-efficient, multi-functional materials . Accordingly, lightweight structural materials are the main focus for applications of nanomaterials in civil aviation . Cost-efficiency is another focus area, with lower loading levels of nano-clays providing the same reinforcing properties as conventional reinforcements. Beyond optimising performance, airframes would be able to interact with and respond to changes in the environment, would they be a damage in its own structure or changes in the airflow thorugh its wings (e.g. shape memory alloys or multifunctional composite materials). For instance, Boeing is following the "integrated vehicle health-management" approach and uses nano and other technologies to embed sensors throughout aircrafts to monitor electronic, pneumatic, hydraulic and even structural components .
In aircraft engines2, nanostructured coatings and bulk materials enable higher operating temperatures  leading to more energy-efficient and less polluting engines  or coatings that lengthen components lifetime by improving protection against corrosion, oxidation, wear/friction or impacts.
Regarding landing gears, they are heavy components working under extreme stress during landing and take-offs and are exposed to harsh environmental conditions (e.g. oxidation, corrosion) . The development of lightweight materials together with suitable nanostructured (environmentally-friendly) coatings is one application area receiving substantial attention (also in the defense sector) [33; 23]. The company Heroux Devtek was already using nanotechnology in 2005 to coat landing gears for jet fighters  and Raymor Industries Inc. claimed aircraft manufacturers were introducing HVOF coatings as an alternative for hard-chrome coatings in landing gears .
Coatings and/or paints are one of the key application areas in the aeronatics' sector. Aircraft materials are usually coated to achieve the desired functionalities. Transferring some of these properties to the surface is the approach to improve materials' functionalities in an economical way. These coatings do provide functionalities such as corrosion and thermal protection but can also prevent or reduce wear, ice formation or sliding (important for safety reasons). For instance, Air Canada explored replacing paints by nano-coatings and expected a weight reduction of about 350 pounds resulting in fuel saving costs of more than $25,000 per year . Regarding the prevention of ice formation (with each de-icing procedure costing around $ 10.000), nanostructured coatings have been reported (though not mareketed) that can repel water and prevent corrosion and reduce ice formation on optical elements and aircrafts . Other advantages that can be brought by nanotechnology are the use of (ceramic) pigments that do not degrade due to UV radiation (thus avoiding the need for aircraft re-painting) [22b].
In terms of windows (or glass), they are used in a variety of sectors and research is going on to provide them with functionalities such as anti-scratch, anti-reflection, anti-glare, low-weight or impact resistance. These functionalities can be achieved by depositing nanopowder-based thin layers onto glass [22b]. The aeronautics' sector is expected to benefit (or lead) these developments but will also put stringer requirements (which may justify cost increases not acceptable in other sectors). Moreover, developments in this area could benefit from developments in windows protecting infrared sensors in missiles .
Last but not least, nanotechnology can have an impact on aircraft electric and electronic systems (e.g. lighter wires). For instance, reductions in wirings' weight from 1,600 Kg to around 450 kg have been claimed possible in the old Boeing 747 by replacing copper by carbon nanofibres . The aeronautics' sector will also benefit from advances on a.o. computing power, sensors or display technology.
Besides, many aircraft components or elements can be (drastically) improved. These include, but may not be limited to, filtration systems for higher air quality use nanoscale silver particles to eliminate undesirable odours and kill airborne health threats, low weight interior components (e.g. seats, carriages), self-cleaning textiles or other applicationn such as low-wear resistance brakes, or additives for propellants [21; 23].
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