Today’s Spotlight features micrographs, by Stephen Steiner, of carbon fibers covered in carbon nanotubes in a photo‑ collage by Christine Daniloff/MIT.
These days, aerospace engineering is all about the light stuff: building airplanes with lighter wings, fuselage and landing gear in an effort to reduce fuel costs.
Advanced carbon‑fiber composites have been used in recent years to lighten planes’ loads. These materials can match aluminum and titanium in strength but at a fraction of the weight, and can be found in aircraft like the Boeing 787 and Airbus A380, reducing such jets’ weight by 20 percent.
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