CThru Mesh® expanded metal foils provide lightning strike protection by distributing energy across the surface area of components

Aircraft Lightning Strikes

Lightning strikes can deliver as much as 1,000,000 volts or 30,000 amps to aircrafts in flight. This instantaneous introduction of energy across the leading edges of the plane can cause damage to radome, nacelles, wing tips, horizontal stabilizer tips, vertical fin tips, flaps, landing gear, and air data sensors as it exits to the ground to complete the circuit.

image courtesy of Boeing

While lightning strikes on aircraft are relatively common, significant events are rare because of the technology engineered into the aircraft. The metal skin of an aircraft is thick enough to protect internal spaces from a strike and severely reduce electromagnetic energy from entering electrical wires. But aircraft are continuously leveraging composite material to become lighter, stronger, and faster. These materials are poor electrical conductors that introduce risk into the overall lightning protection of the aircraft. How can aircraft leveraging this new material science comply with 14 CFR 23.2335 stating “The airplane must be protected against catastrophic effects from lightning”?

CThru Mesh® Provides Aircraft Lightning Strike Protection

CThru Mesh® expanded metal foil is designed for the manufacturing process for aircraft components using composite materials to protect them from lightning strikes. By including CThru Mesh®, the voltage and amperage of a lightning strike are distributed over the surface area of the component allowing it to exit without damage to the carbon fiber or other composite materials used in critical components.

CThru Mesh® lightning strike protection is available in copper and aluminum. This technology is designed to provide protection for components in Zone 1A and 1C as designated by SAE ARP 5414. Top aerospace and aircraft suppliers across the world rely on CThru Mesh® to keep their critical composite components with complex shapes and surfaces safe from lightning strikes.

image courtesy of sciencedirect.com

CThru Mesh® Expanded Metal Foils for Aircraft

CThru Metals provides CThru Mesh® expanded metal foil in standard diamond sizes from 0.030”- 0.500”, with the number of openings per square inch varying from 25 to 5,000. We can also manufacture your custom expanded metal configuration based on pattern, thickness, width, material, and blanking/forming the design.

The proprietary expanding process developed by CThru Metals is lubricant-free and runs faster than the competition. This means you get a superior product that won’t fray or unravel like woven wire cloth, is cleaner to work with, and saves you money. Learn more about how CThru Mesh® expanded metal foil is manufactured.

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