AFRL Repairs Next Generation Composite Materials With Light

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Photo by Amber Hubbard,
Photo by Amber Hubbard,

September 29, 2020 | Originally published by U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory on September 23, 2020

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – Scientists at the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Hanyang University are developing smart structural composites that are robust and photothermally responsive, enabling next generation composite materials that are repairable with the application of light sources.

This is a joint collaboration between the United States and South Korea, with participation of AFRL and Hanyang University, through collaborative sponsorship of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the National Research Foundation of Korea.

“This partnership has helped us to leverage resources and accelerate our technology development,” said Professor Youngjong Kang of Hanyang University.

“We are developing an evolving and transformative materials technology that enables real-time system readiness and cost savings in the area of system sustainment and electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding,” said Dr. Dhriti Nepal, Research Materials Engineer of AFRL.

The structural damage repair in traditional epoxy composites is time consuming and labor intensive. Component downtime during repair also adds to loss of squadron readiness, in addition to excessive labor-intensive repair cost.

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