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B. G. Prakash
CARBON composite, or composite, as it is called in airframe structural technology, consists of carbon and silicon fibre glued together with special resins. The cracks, if they occur on composite material, do not propagate, as is usual on metallic surfaces made of aluminium and lithium, with or without scandium, the alloy usually used in airframes. Composite components weigh less than similar metallic products. It is a manual labour-intensive method by which any shape can be achieved by twisting and kneading. Comparatively, when metal is used, twisting is limited to a stage at which the surface develops hairline cracks. Composite is necessarily costlier but the costs are falling.
Composite in air-frames
Carbon composite, of which the wing of the Light Combat Aircraft, LCA and control surfaces of the proposed Indian Light Transport Aircraft, SARAS are made, is lighter but can be deceptive. Composite can lose its life on the ground rather …