Innovate through Biomimicry – Helicoid technology for the next generation of ultra-tough lightweight composite structures

Thursday, 30 September 2021 09:00 - 12:30

Fibre-reinforced plastics (FRPs) offer outstanding structural efficiency to deliver high strength, high stiffness, lightweight aerostructures. However, the inherent brittleness of high-performance reinforcements used in aerospace often leads to poor damage resistance. This results in over-designed structures and excess weight which reduces performance and fuel efficiency of current aircrafts. Biomimicry is an effective tool to address the poor damage resistance of FRPs. The key to the high damage resistance of bio-inspired solutions is their ability to control damage growth by activating highly dissipative failure mechanisms that allow to delay catastrophic failure and provide a superior structural integrity. Bioinspired Helicoid architectures found in plant, crustaceans, and bones offer a scalable, cost-effective solution with significant performance improvements compared to conventional FRPs. Helicoid technology has demonstrated the ability to improve several composite sectors where high impact resistance, structural integrity and durability are key. The presentation will describe how biomimicry, and specifically Helicoid technology can be used as an innovation catapult for the next generation of ultra-tough, impact tolerant composite structures. The nature-inspired origins, damage control mechanisms, manufacturing routes, performance enhancement and structural weight savings related to Helicoid technology will be presented for various composites applications. Specific focus will be given to aerostructures, including insights on high-speed applications.

Lorenzo Mencattelli, Director of R&D, Helicoid Industries