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Lightning Strike Appliqués

lightning strike 1lightning strike 2plane new 2

Integument has developed a high performance paint replacement appliqué coating system designed to protect wind turbines, composite aircraft, and composite-based equipment from Environmental Electromagnetic Effects (E3), including damage incurred from direct lightning strikes.

Appliqués films provide an excellent alternative to conventional embedded metallic foil composite materials currently used for lightning strike protection.  Current systems utilizing embedded metallic foils require costly maintenance and repair once the object incurs a lightning strike event. Integument appliqués act as a sacrificial surface layer that protects underlying composites and can be easily repaired by simply removing from the damaged area the appliqué and replacing it with a new section.

Metallized and Specialty Films

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Metallized Fluoropolymer appliqués developed for lightning strike and corrosion protection.

duct

Galvanized duct laminated with a clear 5 mil PVDF on interior and 5-mil copper metallized. ECTFE (Halar ®) on exterior (right) before forming into duct pieces. Note: classic “Pipe-Lock” joint used to form a seamless, uniform duct lining.

ITI’s proprietary technologies include the metallization of fluoropolymer films from 5-30 mils DFT. Our metallized film is comprised of an infinite variety of metals that are vacuumed or electrolessly deposited to fluoropolymers in thicknesses up to several microns. Typical metals may include chromium, titanium, nickel, copper, silver, etc. The result is a fluoropolymeric material, most commonly metallized film, suitable for a wide variety of industrial and technological applications.

The science of surface activation makes the metallization possible:

Combining highly corrosion resistant metals with fluoropolymer materials creates unlimited varieties of composite materials for a wide variety of industrial applications and equipment designs. Several fluoropolymer based and metallized materials are currently under development for corrosion resistance in the chemical processing industry and paint replacement and lightning strike protection for military and commercial composite aircraft.

Chemical process applications include reducing fluoropolymer permeability while improving corrosion resistance through the application of highly chemical resistant metals (i.e. titanium, chromium, tantalum, vanadium, nickel) on fluoropolymer films and sheets from 5-30 mils.

Military and commercial aircraft appliqués are being developed, through metallized film engineering, to provide protection for composite aircraft (carbon or fiberglass based) from direct lightning strikes.