Air of safety

The TECNALIA Technological Corporation is leading a composite materials project to develop a mechanism that will improve the safety of aircraft.



The Multifunctional Layers for Safer Aircraft Composite Structures (LAYSA) Project is supported by 12 European members and has an initial budget of €3m.



The project aims to develop an intelligent multilayer material based on nanomaterials that are able to simultaneously react to the formation of ice on aircraft wings, resist fire and monitor the health of composite aircraft materials.



The outer layer of the material will be reinforced by carbon nanofibres or nanotubes to allow for the conduction of heat. An inner layer will contain inorganic nanoreinforcements and possibly flame retardants to increase fire resistance.



Researchers are also exploring the material’s ability to manage its own health by using sensors to inspect any possible areas of the aircraft for deterioration.



The LAYSA project involves participation from five industrial companies and four universities from the UK, Sweden, France, Greece, Switzerland and Spain.