Aerodynamics and coating are newly developed fields of aerospace engineering. Due to new developments importance of both is sure for aircraft or rotorcraft design. Decreasing surface erosion and increasing fuel efficiency are possible by using state of art coating techniques. Non-sticking coatings, multilayer coating applications and developed maintenance processes can help this. During development period mechanisms of friction have to be studied broadly.
Technically, there are different type and calculations of drag in aircrafts. Wing, horizontal tail, fuselage, engine and vertical tail are general drag types in various aircraft components. There are different methods for obtaining drag coefficient that can be applied in aerospace engineering. However, wind tunnel application and practical methods are more common for estimating drag coefficient. As a design issue there are three types of drag in aircrafts. First of them is skin parasite drag. The second one is induced drag and last one wave drag.
Having a coating is simple in engineering field. But having an inexpensive and high quality coating in aerospace engineering is not simple.
Potentially optimized coating for aerospace engineering, that is optimized aerodynamically, has major requirements. Some of these requirements can defined as: Great bonding in molecular level, protective character against moisture, strain, shear and scratch, available and resistant to high and low temperatures of working environment…
Beyond materials science design has important contribution on drag. All types of materials that are used in coating of aircrafts have to be considered with design issues. Nature of aerodynamic requires this situation. In normal conditions most of drag comes from pressure differences. Car industry has major improvements about simulation of drag and design issues. Due to enormous size of aircrafts it is not possible to have these improvements in aerospace engineering, yet.
In coating technologies, there are a lot of studies to be done. However efficient design and new material developments led to have nearly 50% less drag in aircrafts. Combination of chemicals for cleaning and performance optimization is another field in aircraft coating.
Coating is not only related with outside of aircrafts. Also, blades and combustion engines are important field of coating technology. Metallic coating that are nickel based used widely in combustion chambers. High temperature combustion process has same target like outside surface coating: Less erosion and friction.
In aerospace engineering carbon-fiber rotor blades and polycarbonate applications of glass are common coating techniques. However, epoxy based coating materials are state of art in this field. Different form of polymers can be used in aircraft coating. These coatings has non-sticking, easy cleaning and molecular grade bonding structure which makes it ideal for aircraft technology.
More than common materials nano applications are being developed in aerospace industry. However cost of coating is another point that is have to be considered. Novel application of coating technique can be ceramics. Because of lower porosity and seamless surface they are really great candidates for aerospace engineering applications.
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