Patent Issued for Panel with Impact Protection MembraneAirbus Operations LimitedNewsRx.com
By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- A patent by the inventors West, Colin John (Bristol, GB); Sutton, David Alistair (Bristol, GB); Boozari, Fariborz F. (Bristol, GB), filed on September 18, 2008, was cleared and issued on December 4, 2012, according to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews correspondents.
Patent number 8322657 is assigned to Airbus Operations Limited (Bristol, GB).
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "A projectile barrier and method is described in US 2007/0009694. An elastomeric bonding layer is spray-coated on the outside surface of a fuel tank. A composite expansion layer is then spray-coated on the bonding layer. Finally, a compression layer is spray-formed to the desired thickness on the outside of the expansion layer. When a bullet penetrates the fuel tank wall, the expansion layer comes into contact with the fuel and expands to fill the bullet hole. Whilst being suitable for providing protection against a small projectile such as a bullet, the barrier is less effective against a larger projectile. Also, the barrier is only effective in protecting a fuel tank wall. Also, the spray-coating process requires the elastomer to dissolve in a solvent, and so only relatively low molecular weight elastomers can be used.
"WO 2004/098993 describes an aircraft wing with a leading edge containing a foam or honeycomb material which absorbs the impact of a bird strike."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "A first aspect of the invention provides an aircraft leading edge panel having an outer aerodynamic face; an inner face; and an elastomeric impact protection membrane bonded to the inner face of the panel.
"The leading edge panel can at least partially absorb the energy of an object such as a bird and thus protect structure (such as a front spar) behind the panel. The leading edge panel may be positioned in a variety of leading-edge locations on the aircraft, including but not limited to the leading-edge of a slat, wing, tail-plane, fuselage or engine nacelle.
"Preferably the membrane comprising a woven or knitted fabric which is impregnated with an elastomeric material. The fabric-reinforced membrane provides effective protection against a range of impacts, and can also be used to provide impact protection for a variety of articles including fuel tanks, or articles in which there is no fuel in contact with the panel.
"Typically the panel comprises a resin which is co-cured with the membrane.
"Typically the panel comprise a fibre-reinforced polymer. For example in the embodiments of the invention described below the panel comprises a series of plies of pre-impregnated carbon-fibre reinforced epoxy resin. Alternatively the fibre-reinforced polymer panel may be formed, for example, by infusing a fabric pre-form with a liquid resin.
"The panel may comprise a thermosetting material which is heated in contact with the impact protection membrane to co-cure the panel and the membrane. Alternatively the panel may comprise a thermoplastic material which is heated to mould the panel into a desired shape and then allowed to cool in contact with the impact protection membrane to co-cure the panel and the membrane.
"Typically the membrane comprises an elastomeric material with a molecular weight greater than 5,000 and/or a density lower than 1.6 Mgm.sup.-3.
"Examples of suitable elastomeric materials include polyurethane, fluorosilicone rubber, polychloroprene rubber, acrylonitrile butadiene rubber, or ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber.
"One or more fasteners may pass through the membrane and the panel.
"Typically the membrane is configured to de-bond from the face of the panel to absorb at least part of the energy of an object impacting the panel, by adhesive or cohesive failure.
"A further aspect of the invention provides a method of providing impact protection, the method comprising bonding an elastomeric membrane to a face of a panel; and de-bonding the elastomeric membrane from the face of the panel to absorb at least part of the energy of an object impacting the panel."
URL and more information on this patent, see: West, Colin John; Sutton, David Alistair; Boozari, Fariborz F.. Panel with Impact Protection Membrane. U.S. Patent Number 8322657, filed September 18, 2008, and issued December 4, 2012. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=105&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=5210&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=20121204.PD.&OS=ISD/20121204&RS=ISD/20121204
Keywords for this news article include: Airbus Operations Limited.
Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2012, NewsRx LLC