(19)
(11)EP 3 153 410 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
17.06.2020 Bulletin 2020/25

(21)Application number: 16189302.9

(22)Date of filing:  16.09.2016
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
B64D 45/02(2006.01)
B29C 70/88(2006.01)

(54)

METHODS FOR DIVERTING LIGHTNING CURRENT FROM SKIN FASTENERS IN COMPOSITE, NON-METALLIC STRUCTURES

VERFAHREN ZUM UMLEITEN VON BLITZSTROM VON HAUTBEFESTIGERN IN NICHTMETALLISCHEN VERBUNDMATERIALSTRUKTUREN

PROCÉDÉS DE DÉRIVATION DE COURANT DE FOUDRE À PARTIR DE FIXATIONS DE REVÊTEMENT DANS DES STRUCTURES NON MÉTALLIQUES COMPOSITES


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 05.10.2015 US 201514875297

(43)Date of publication of application:
12.04.2017 Bulletin 2017/15

(73)Proprietor: The Boeing Company
Chicago, IL 60606-1596 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • LE, Quynhgiao
    Chicago, IL Illinois 60606 (US)
  • MORGAN, Jeffrey Denys
    Chicago, IL Illinois 60606 (US)
  • GREEGOR, Robert B.
    Chicago, IL Illinois 60606 (US)
  • WHITING, Brent A.
    Chicago, IL Illinois 60606 (US)

(74)Representative: Morrall, Jonathan Ian McLachlan 
Kilburn & Strode LLP Lacon London 84 Theobalds Road
London WC1X 8NL
London WC1X 8NL (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
FR-A1- 2 765 066
US-A1- 2004 246 651
US-A1- 2011 174 536
US-A- 3 755 713
US-A1- 2009 258 220
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    BACKGROUND INFORMATION


    Field



    [0001] Embodiments of the disclosure relate generally to the field of lightning protection of non-metallic structures and more particularly to lightning protection of aerospace structures fabricated from carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) composite systems.

    Background



    [0002] Lightning protection is a requirement for all aircraft, particularly aircraft with composite structures. Due to its high strength to weight ratio, carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) material systems are increasingly used for aerospace structures. However, since carbon fiber is 2000 times more resistive than aluminum and is embedded in a matrix that typically consists of 35-40 weight % non- conductive contents, damage from direct lightning strikes to the CFRP structures is more severe and efforts to protect the CFRP structures from lightning direct attachment have required significant attention to ensure continued airworthiness of the design. Metallic skin fasteners, particularly fasteners in composite/non-metallic wing skins, require special attention as they are more susceptible to direct lightning attachment, if unprotected, and may lead to fuel tank ignition. Common approaches for lightning protection of fastened joints in the aerospace industry include minimizing lightning current entering the fastened joints, increasing the current carrying capacity of the fastened joints, containing energy released from the fastened joints, or some combination of these approaches. Various methods and technologies have been successfully implemented with proven lightning protection performance effectiveness. However, due to their complexity, these methods have often resulted in either high part costs, high manufacturing costs or high maintenance costs.

    [0003] It is therefore desirable to provide less complex methods and designs for fastened joints in CFRP structures which maintain acceptable lightning protection at reduced costs.

    [0004] US 2011/0174536 A1 describes the formation of a fiber reinforced composite material component produced by a resin transfer infusion process such as to have an electrically conductive surface layer for lightning strike protection wherein the component is to be drilled and countersunk to receive an electrically conductive fastener.

    [0005] US 2004/246651 A1 describes a lightning strike protection system for aircraft fuel tanks made of low electrical conductivity composite material. An electrical conductive thin wire mesh covers the whole external surface of the tank outer skin made of composite.

    [0006] FR 2 765 066 A1 describes a spark resistant structure for aircraft, comprising, under a surface conducting coat, an electrically conducting strip, traversed by and in electric contact with fixing means.

    [0007] US 3 755 713 A describes a method of controlling electrostatic charge on aircraft and vulnerability to lightning strikes and relates to the use of a knitted wire mesh material applies over a glass fiber composite panel or plastic aerodynamic surface of an aircraft.

    SUMMARY



    [0008] According to an aspect, there is provided a multiplayer composite structure with integrated fastener-to-conductive layer surface lightning protection interconnection as defined in claim 1.

    [0009] According to another aspect, there is a provided a method of forming a multilayer composite structure with integrated fastener-to-conductive layer surface lightning protection interconnection as defined in claim 10.

    [0010] Examples disclosed herein provide a multilayer composite structure with integrated fastener- to-conductive layer surface lightning protection interconnections having a co-cured conductive layer, such as a wire mesh, with an inner surface and a plurality of chamfered recesses forming part of countersinks in an outer surface. One or more carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) composite layers are disposed on the inner surface of the co-cured conductive layer and conforms to the surface shape. A plurality of holes extend through the plurality of chamfered recesses in the co-cured conductive layer and the adjoining CFRP composite layer in a manner such that the co-cured conductive layer defines a countersink portion extending into the openings of the plurality of holes. The chamfered recesses in the co-cured conductive layer increase an electrically conductive surface area that contacts conductive, metallic countersunk fasteners installed within the plurality of holes.

    [0011] A feature of one example includes a carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) composite structure having a hole with a countersink and a conical washer inserted in the countersink. A fastener received with a clearance fit in the hole has a conical head conductively engaging the conical washer whereby any lightning current attaching to or conducting through the head of the fastener is dissipated in a discharge path primarily through the composite layers in an outer portion of the composite structure extending adjacent from the fastener head.

    [0012] The examples disclosed may be fabricated using a method of forming a multilayer composite structure with integrated fastener- to-conductive layer surface lightning protection interconnections. A glass fiber reinforced pre-impregnated layer or surfacing film is laid over a tool having a plurality of raised conical-shaped features. A conductive surface protection layer is then laid over the fiber glass or surfacing film layer to form a plurality of chamfered recesses in the co-cured conductive layer. Carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) composite layers are then laid over the fiber glass or surfacing film layer and the conductive layer. The entire layup is then co-cured on the tool. Following cure and removal from the layup tool, a plurality of holes are machined through the plurality of recesses in the conductive layer and the adjoining composite layer in a manner such that the chamfered recesses expose the conductive layer surface and define the finished countersink dimensions. Fasteners are then inserted into the plurality of holes such that the chamfered recesses in the countersinks with the conductive layer provide the electrical connection to the countersunk heads of the metallic fasteners installed within the plurality of holes.

    [0013] The features, functions, and advantages that have been discussed can be achieved independently in various examples of the present disclosure, further details of which can be seen with reference to the following description and drawings.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0014] 

    FIG. 1 is a section view of a prior art fastener system employing a sleeve with an interference fit at the head and shaft of a fastener;

    FIG. 2 is a section view of an example incorporating a conical washer for contact with a the top portion of a composite layup with a hole having clearance to accommodate a fastener shaft;

    FIGs. 3A - 3D show in section view an exemplary composite layup flow for a composite structural panel employing an embodiment with embedded wire mesh, as an example of a conductive surface protection layer, and optional conical contact washers;

    FIG. 3E shows a fragmentary view of the completed composite structural panel with a fastener inserted;

    FIG. 4 is a graph showing current density in layers of a composite structure vs. conductivity of a top layer;

    FIG. 5 is a flow chart showing a manufacturing method for the composite structural panel;

    FIG. 6 is a flow chart depicting an aircraft manufacturing and service method in which the disclosed embodiments may be employed; and,

    FIG. 7 is a flow chart depicting an aircraft with which the disclosed embodiments may be employed.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION



    [0015] Examples disclosed herein provide lightning and/or other forms of electrical current dissipation in a first example through electrical contact between a conical washer and outer layers of a composite structure and a conical head of a fastener extending through the composite structure. A shaft of the fastener is received in the composite structure in a clearance fit hole. In a further embodiment, current dissipation is enhanced through direct electrical connection between a conductive layer co-cured in a composite structure and fasteners in the composite structure. The co-cured conductive layer extends inside a portion of the fastener holes and makes contact with heads of the fasteners or a conical washer interfacing the fastener head into the countersink after installation. The composite structure is realized by first laying down a fiber glass or surfacing film as a protective outer layer, a conductive layer such as a wire mesh, an adhesive layer (which may be integrated with the conductive layer or applied to the conductive layer prior to layup), followed by the subsequent CFRP tape layers in accordance with the structural design on a uniquely designed laminating tool with raised features. These raised features are designed to provide part of the countersink holes (typical angle of 100 degrees) for the skin fasteners that will be installed later. After curing, the laminated skin is then removed from the laminating tool, then drilled at the location of the raised features and appropriately finished to provide the countersink holes for fastener installation. Countersinking of the holes at the location of the raised features removes only the fiber glass or surfacing film outer layer on the angled surfaces of the formed indentations. In addition, to further increase the current carrying capacity of the joint, conical washers of a desired metal type having a density and thickness (as required by the design, to be discussed subsequently) may be added to the countersink hole to form electrical contacts with both the portion in the countersink holes with the conductive layer and the fastener heads. This approach allows the fasteners to make direct electrical contact either directly with the co-cured conductive layer or with the added conical washers that are in contact with the co-cured conductive layer at the countersink angled surface where lightning current transfer may occur to improve the current carrying capacity of the joint, thus negating the need for current transfer through sleeved, interference fit joints. This allows for the replacement of expensive sleeved fasteners with clearance fit fasteners, thus lowering the cost of airplane production. Clearance fit fastened joints also significantly facilitate fastener installation, and will result in reduced assembly labor and flow time.

    [0016] Referring to the drawings, FIG. 1 shows an exemplary prior art fastener installation in which a fastener 10 is received with an interference fit (fit spacing is exaggerated in the drawing for clarity of the elements) by a sleeve 12 inserted in a countersunk hole 14 in a multilayer composite structure 16 such as a CFRP skin. Fastener head 18 and fastener shaft 20 are both in electrical contact with the sleeve 12 which, in turn is in electrical contact with the composite structure 16. Lightning current attaching to or conducting through the head 18 of the fastener is dissipated into the composite structure throughout the length of the fastener head and shaft as indicated by arrows 22. In this example the fastener 10 is secured with a nut / collar 24 received on a threaded end 26 to secure the composite structure to another structural member 25. This discharge path results in uniform current distribution through layers in the composite structure, such as the example skin layup and higher current density at fastener collar/nut may result in enhanced fuel tank sealing requirements.

    [0017] The first example disclosed is shown in FIG. 2 wherein fastener 30 having a head 32 and shaft 34 is received in a countersunk hole 36 in a CFRP composite structure 38 such as a wing skin. A clearance fit is provided between the shaft 34 and hole 36. An angled countersink 40 in the hole 36 provides a mating surface having an angle concentric with the fastener head 32. A conical washer 42 is engaged between the head 32 and the countersink 40 providing electrical contact between the head and an outer portion 44 of the composite structure 38. This intimate electrical contact dissipates any electrical current conducting through the head 32 of the fastener 30 in a discharge path (represented by arrows 46) primarily through the composite layers in the outer portion 44 of the composite structure extending adjacent from the fastener head. The clearance fit of the shaft 34 and hole 36 encourages this discharge path through lower conductive contact between the shaft and composite structure. In the example, the fastener 30 is secured with a nut/collar 48, or a nut with separate washer, received on a threaded end 50 to secure the composite structure 38 to another structural member 49. With the induced current path, there is negligible current density at the fastener collar or nut which reduces fuel tank sealing requirements as the means to contain outgassing energy from the fastened joint.

    [0018] In the example, the conical washer 42, countersink in the hole 36 and the head 32 have an angle of between 98° and 102°, nominally 100° and the conical washer has a thickness of between 0.001 and 0.005 inches. In an application with CFRP composite layers in the composite structure, a titanium fastener is employed and the conical washer is bare corrosion resistant steel (CRES) to provide the desired conductivity.

    [0019] For the second disclosed example, FIGs 3A - 3E illustrate a desired structure for an exemplary wing skin integral to a fuel tank in an aircraft. A multilayer composite structure 52 with integrated fastener-to-conductive layer surface protection interconnection is formed by employing a laminating tool 54, as seen in FIG. 3A, having a plurality of raised conical-shaped features or protrusions 56 positioned at desired fastener locations. A fiberglass or surfacing film layer 58 is placed on the tool to initiate the layup with the fiberglass or surfacing layer conforming to each of the conical shaped features 56. A conductive layer such as a wire mesh 60 is laid up over the fiberglass or surfacing film layer 58 with an outer surface 59 adjacent the fiberglass or surfacing film layer. For an exemplary embodiment the wire mesh layer is an expanded metal foil, such as copper, nickel or aluminum, with thickness ranging from 0.001 to 0.005 inch. An adhesive layer 62 is placed or applied over the wire mesh layer 60 and CFRP tape layers 64 for the composite structure such as an aircraft wing skin are laid up over an inner surface 61 of the wire mesh layer 60 covered by the adhesive layer. For the example embodiment the adhesive layer is epoxy based and has a film areal weight of 0.0200 ± 0.0050 lb/ft2.In alternative embodiments, the adhesive layer 62 may be applied to the wire mesh layer 60 prior to layup with the other elements of the composite structure. Curing of the layup is then accomplished on the laminating tool 54.

    [0020] The cured layup 66 seen in FIG. 3B is removed from the laminating tool 54. The layup provides preshaped conical chamfered recesses 68 corresponding to desired countersinks for fasteners at each of the desired locations. A plurality of holes 70 through which fasteners may be inserted are then drilled, finished or otherwise machined through the recesses 68 as seen in FIG. 3C. The fiberglass in the chamfered recesses 68 is then removed as shown in FIG. 3D leaving each chamfered recesses to expose the conductive surface 72 as conical countersinks 74 extending into an opening of each hole 70. The extension of the conductive layer into the recesses, provides an electrically conductive surface area in the countersink. For the embodiment shown, the chamfered recess results in parallel contact of the conductive layer over the entire length of the fastener head while the overall thickness of the wire mesh conductive layer spaced over the surface of the composite structure between the holes may remain thin for weight considerations. Accordingly, a multilayer composite structure with integrated fastener-to-conductive layer interconnection is provided, comprising a conductive layer having a plurality of chamfered recesses forming countersinks in an outer surface of the conductive layer, one or more carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) composite layers conforming to an inner surface of the conductive layer, and holes extending through the chamfered recesses in the conductive layer and the adjoining CFRP composite layer in a manner such that the conductive layer defines a countersink portion extending into openings of the holes. The chamfered recesses in the conductive layer thereby provide an electrically conductive surface area that enables electrical contact with electrically conductive countersunk fasteners that may be installed within the plurality of holes. Conical washers 76 may then be inserted into the countersinks 74.

    [0021] As seen in FIG. 3E, the completed composite structure 52 with fasteners 78 installed provides conductive connection between the conical heads 80 of the fastener with the conical washers 76 which are intimately received within the conical countersinks 74 for direct connection to the conductive surface 72. In alternative embodiments, the conical washers 76 may be eliminated and the conical heads 80 of the fasteners 78 placed in direct contact with the conductive surface 72 in the conical countersinks 74. Shafts 82 of the fasteners 78 are received in the holes 70 with a clearance fit. For the embodiment shown, the fasteners 78 are secured with a nuts/collar 84 or received on threaded ends 86 of the shafts 82 to secure the composite structure 52 to another structural member 85. The clearance fit of the shaft 82 and hole 70 encourages current transition at the fastener head through higher resistance between the shaft and composite structure. With the induced current path through the conductive layer near the fastener head, there is negligible current density at the fastener collar or nut which reduces fuel tank sealing requirements.

    [0022] As seen in the graph provided in FIG. 4, for a composite structure having an outer layer with adjoining layers of CFRP composite in 0 °, 45°, 90° and -45 °, enhancing the conductivity of the top or outer layer in the composite structure having exposed fastener heads, as seen in trace 402, results in significantly reduced current density in inner composite layers as seen by traces 404, 406, 408 and 410. In the disclosed embodiment, the wire mesh layer 60 provides a conductivity of at least 105 S/m. With the intimate conductive contact provided either directly from the conical head of the fasteners or through a conical washer into the chamfered surface of the countersink provided in the wire mesh surrounding each hole, any electrical discharge attaching the head of a fastener is dissipated primarily into the wire mesh layer of the composite structure further enhancing the phenomenon of inducing current density to remain in the outer layer with high conductivity in that outer layer.

    [0023] Fabrication of the multilayer composite structure with integrated fastener-to-conductive layer surface lightning protection interconnection may be accomplished with a method illustrated in FIG. 5. A tool is formed with a plurality of raised conical-shaped features, step 502, and the tool is cleaned, step 504. An outer protective layer of fiberglass or surfacing film is laid over the tool, step 506 and a conductive layer, wire mesh in an exemplary embodiment, is laid over the tool with the plurality of raised conical-shaped features forming a plurality of chamfered recesses in the wire-mesh conductive layer, step 508. An adhesive layer is laid over the wire-mesh conductive layer, step 510, or alternatively may be applied to the conductive layer prior to layup. Carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) composite layers are laid over the integrated conductive layer /adhesive layer conforming to the shape of the conductive layer and tool, step 512. The layup is then bagged, step 514. The CFRP and conductive layer are co-cured as part of the layup on the tool to create the desire part such as the wing skin, step 516. The part is then removed from the tool, step 518, the edges trimmed, step 520, and the part inspected, step 522. A plurality of holes are machined through the plurality of recesses in the conductive layer and the adjoining composite layer in a manner such that the chamfered recesses in the conductive layer define countersinks extending into openings of the plurality of holes, step 524. Accordingly, a method is provided for forming a multilayer composite structure with integrated fastener-to-conductive layer interconnection, which includes laying a conductive layer over a tool having a plurality of raised conical-shaped features to form chamfered recesses in the conductive layer, laying at least one composite layer conforming to the conductive layer, co-curing the layers on the tool, and machining holes extending through the chamfered recesses in the conductive layer and the adjoining composite layer in a manner such that the chamfered recesses in the conductive layer define a countersink portions extending into the holes to expose a conductive surface of the conductive layer. The method further includes additional steps of inserting fasteners into the plurality of holes, where the chamfered recesses in the countersinks in the conductive layer electrically contact the conductive countersunk heads of the fasteners installed within the plurality of holes. The holes are sized to accommodate fasteners in a clearance fit. The countersink hole area is machined or finished to remove the fiberglass or other outer protective layer from the chamfered recesses, step 526. In alternative embodiments, other approaches such as laser ablation or plasma etch may be employed to remove the outer protective layer from the surface of the chamfered recesses. Fasteners are inserted into the plurality of holes, step 530, with conical heads of the fasteners engaging the chamfered recesses in the countersinks in conductive layer to increase the electrical contact surface area. A conical washer may be inserted into the chamfered recess in each hole, step 528, prior to inserting the fastener into the hole.

    [0024] Embodiments of the disclosure may be described in the context of an aircraft manufacturing and service method 600 (method 600) as shown in FIG. 6 and an aircraft 700 as shown in FIG. 7. During pre-production, the exemplary method 600 may include specification and design 604 of the aircraft 700 and material procurement 606. During production, component and subassembly manufacturing 608 and system integration 610 of the aircraft 700 takes place. Thereafter, the aircraft 700 may go through certification and delivery 612 in order to be placed in service 614. While in service by a customer, the aircraft 700 is scheduled for routine maintenance and service 616 (which may also include modification, reconfiguration, refurbishment, and so on).

    [0025] Each of the processes of method 600 may be performed or carried out by a system integrator, a third party, and/or an operator (e.g., a customer). For the purposes of this description, a system integrator may include without limitation any number of aircraft manufacturers and major-system subcontractors; a third party may include without limitation any number of venders, subcontractors, and suppliers; and an operator may be without limitation an airline, leasing company, military entity, service organization, and the like.

    [0026] As shown in FIG. 7, the aircraft 700 produced by the exemplary method 600 may include an airframe 718 with a plurality of systems 720 and an interior 722. Examples of high-level systems 720 include one or more of a propulsion system 724, an electrical system 726, a hydraulic system 728, an environmental system 730, and an attachable/detachable segmented ordnance dispenser 732. Any number of other systems may also be included. Although an aerospace example is shown, the embodiments of the disclosure may be applied to other industries.

    [0027] Apparatus and methods embodied herein may be employed during any one or more of the stages of the production and service method 600. For example, components or subassemblies corresponding to production process 608 may be fabricated or manufactured in a manner similar to components or subassemblies produced while the aircraft 700 is in service. In addition, one or more apparatus embodiments, method embodiments, or a combination thereof may be utilized during the production stages 608 and 610, for example, by substantially expediting assembly of or reducing the cost of an aircraft 700. Similarly, one or more of apparatus embodiments, method embodiments, or a combination thereof may be utilized while the aircraft 700 is in service, for example and without limitation, to maintenance and service 616.


    Claims

    1. A multilayer composite structure (52) with integrated fastener-to-conductive layer surface lightning protection interconnection comprising:

    a conductive layer (72), having an inner surface (61) and a plurality of preshaped conical chamfered recesses (68) forming countersinks (74) in an outer surface (59); and

    one or more carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) composite layers disposed on and conforming to the inner surface (61) of the conductive layer (72); and

    a plurality of holes (70) extending through the plurality of chamfered recesses (68) in the conductive layer (72) and the adjoining CFRP composite layer in a manner such that the conductive layer (72) defines a countersink portion extending into openings of the plurality of holes (70),

    conductive countersunk fasteners installed within the plurality of holes (70),

    whereby the extension of the conductive layer (72) into the chamfered recesses (68) provides an electrically conductive surface area forming a conductive surface as conical countersinks (74) extending into each hole that contacts the conductive countersunk fasteners installed within the plurality of holes (70).


     
    2. The multilayer composite structure (52) with integrated fastener-to-conductive layer surface lightning protection interconnection as defined in claim 1 further comprising a fiberglass or surfacing film layer (58) cocured over the outer surface (59) of the conductive layer (72).
     
    3. The multilayer composite structure (52) with integrated fastener-to-conductive layer surface lightning protection interconnection as defined in any of claims 1-2 further comprising an adhesive layer (62) integrated with the conductive layer (72) between the conductive layer (72) and the CFRP composite layer, said conductive layer (72), adhesive layer (62) and the CFRP composite layer cocured on a shaped tool (54).
     
    4. The multilayer composite structure (52) with integrated fastener-to-conductive layer surface lightning protection interconnection as defined in any preceding claim further comprising a plurality of conical washers (76) inserted into the chamfered recesses (68).
     
    5. The multilayer composite structure (52) with integrated fastener-to-conductive layer surface lightning protection interconnection as defined in claim 4 wherein a conical head (80) of each fastener conductively engages each conical washer (76).
     
    6. The multilayer composite structure (52) with integrated fastener- to-conductive layer surface lightning protection interconnection as defined in any of claims 1-5 wherein the plurality of holes (70) are sized to receive the plurality of fasteners (78) in a clearance fit.
     
    7. The multilayer composite structure (52) with integrated fastener- to-conductive layer surface lightning protection interconnection as defined in any of claims 1-6 wherein the conductive layer (72) comprises a wire mesh (60).
     
    8. The multilayer composite structure (52) with integrated fastener- to-conductive layer surface lightning protection interconnection as defined in claim 7 wherein the wire mesh (60) comprises an expanded metal foil, selected from the set of copper, nickel or aluminum.
     
    9. The multilayer composite structure (52) with integrated fastener- to-conductive layer surface lightning protection interconnection as defined in claim 8 wherein the expanded metal foil has thickness from 0.0254 to 0.127 millimetres (0.001 to 0.005 inches).
     
    10. A method of forming a multilayer composite structure (52) with integrated fastener- to-conductive layer surface lightning protection interconnection comprising the steps of:

    laying a conductive layer (72) over a tool (54) having a plurality of raised conical-shaped features (56), to form a plurality of chamfered recesses (68) in the wire-mesh (60) conductive layer (72);

    laying at least one carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) composite layer over the conductive layer (72);

    cocuring the CFRP and conductive layer (72) on the tool (54);

    machining a plurality of holes (70) through the plurality of recesses (68) in the conductive layer (72) and the adjoining composite layer in a manner such that the chamfered recesses (68) in the conductive layer (72) define countersinks (74) extending into openings of the plurality of holes (70) and expose a conductive surface of the conductive layer (72); and,

    inserting fasteners (78) into the plurality of holes (70);

    wherein the chamfered recesses (68) in the countersinks (74) in the conductive layer (72) electrically contacts the conductive countersunk heads of the fasteners (78) installed within the plurality of holes (70).


     
    11. The method as defined in claim 10 further comprising laying a fiberglass layer (58) on the tool (54) prior to laying the conductive layer (72).
     
    12. The method as defined in claim 10 or 11 wherein the conductive layer (72) comprises a wire mesh (60) and further comprising laying an adhesive layer (62) between the wire mesh (60) and the at least one CFRP layer.
     
    13. The method as defined in any of claims 10 to 12 further comprising inserting conical washers (76) into the chamfered recesses (68) prior to inserting the fasteners (78) into the plurality of holes (70).
     
    14. The method as defined in any of claims 10-13 wherein the step of machining a plurality of holes (70) comprises machining a plurality of holes (70) for clearance fit of fasteners (78).
     
    15. The method as defined in any of claims 10-14 further comprising forming the tool (54) with a plurality of raised conical-shaped features (56) having a chamfer angle of between 98° and 102°.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Mehrschichtige Verbundstruktur (52) mit einer integrierten Verbindung mit Blitzschutz zwischen einem Befestigungselement und einer Oberfläche einer leitenden Schicht, aufweisend:

    eine leitende Schicht (72), die eine innere Oberfläche (61) und eine Vielzahl von vorgeformten konischen abgeschrägten Aussparungen (68) hat, die Versenkungen (74) in einer äußeren Oberfläche (59) bilden; und

    eine oder mehrere kohlenstofffaserverstärkter Kunststoff (CFRP)-Verbundschichten, die auf der inneren Oberfläche (61) der leitenden Schicht (72) angeordnet sind und dieser formmäßig entsprechen; und

    eine Vielzahl von Löchern (70), die sich durch die Vielzahl von abgeschrägten Aussparungen (68) in der leitenden Schicht (72) und der angrenzenden CFRP-Verbundschicht in einer Art und Weise erstrecken, dass die leitende Schicht (72) einen Versenkungsabschnitt definiert, der sich in Öffnungen von der Vielzahl von Löchern (70) hinein erstreckt,

    leitende versenkte Befestigungselemente, die in der Vielzahl von Löchern (70) installiert sind,

    wodurch die Ausdehnung der leitfähigen Schicht (72) in die abgeschrägten Aussparungen (68) hinein einen elektrisch leitenden Oberflächenbereich bereitstellt, der eine leitende Oberfläche als konische Versenkungen (74), die sich in jedes Loch hinein erstrecken, bildet, die die leitenden versenkten Befestigungselemente berühren, die in der Vielzahl von Löchern (70) installiert sind.


     
    2. Mehrschichtige Verbundstruktur (52) mit einer integrierten Verbindung mit Blitzschutz zwischen einem Befestigungselement und einer Oberfläche einer leitenden Schicht nach Anspruch 1, die des Weiteren eine Glasfaser- oder Oberflächenbeschichtungsschicht (58) aufweist, die über die äußere Oberfläche (59) der leitenden Schicht (72) mit ausgehärtet worden ist.
     
    3. Mehrschichtige Verbundstruktur (52) mit einer integrierten Verbindung mit Blitzschutz zwischen einem Befestigungselement und einer Oberfläche einer leitenden Schicht nach einem der Ansprüche 1-2, die des Weiteren eine Kleberschicht (62) integriert mit der leitenden Schicht (72) zwischen der leitenden Schicht (72) und der CFRP-Verbundschicht aufweist, wobei die leitende Schicht (72), die Klebeschicht (62) und die CFRP-Verbundschicht auf einem geformten Werkzeug (54) gemeinsam ausgehärtet worden sind.
     
    4. Mehrschichtige Verbundstruktur (52) mit einer integrierten Verbindung mit Blitzschutz zwischen einem Befestigungselement und einer Oberfläche einer leitenden Schicht nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, die des Weiteren eine Vielzahl von konischen Unterlegscheiben (76) aufweist, die in die abgeschrägten Aussparungen (68) eingeführt sind.
     
    5. Mehrschichtige Verbundstruktur (52) mit einer integrierten Verbindung mit Blitzschutz zwischen einem Befestigungselement und einer Oberfläche einer leitenden Schicht nach Anspruch 4, wobei ein konischer Kopf (80) von jedem Befestigungselement leitend mit jeder konischen Unterlegscheibe (76) in Eingriff steht.
     
    6. Mehrschichtige Verbundstruktur (52) mit einer integrierten Verbindung mit Blitzschutz zwischen einem Befestigungselement und einer Oberfläche einer leitenden Schicht nach einem der Ansprüche 1-5, wobei die Vielzahl von Löchern (70) größenmäßig so bemessen ist, dass die Vielzahl von Befestigungselementen (78) in einer Spielpassung aufgenommen wird.
     
    7. Mehrschichtige Verbundstruktur (52) mit einer integrierten Verbindung mit Blitzschutz zwischen einem Befestigungselement und einer Oberfläche einer leitenden Schicht nach einem der Ansprüche 1-6, wobei die leitende Schicht (72) ein Drahtgeflecht (60) aufweist.
     
    8. Mehrschichtige Verbundstruktur (52) mit einer integrierten Verbindung mit Blitzschutz zwischen einem Befestigungselement und einer Oberfläche einer leitenden Schicht nach Anspruch 7, wobei das Drahtgeflecht (60) eine Streckmetallfolie aufweist, die aus der Gruppe von Kupfer, Nickel oder Aluminium ausgewählt ist.
     
    9. Mehrschichtige Verbundstruktur (52) mit einer integrierten Verbindung mit Blitzschutz zwischen einem Befestigungselement und einer Oberfläche einer leitenden Schicht nach Anspruch 8, wobei die Streckmetallfolie eine Dicke von 0,0254 bis 0,127 Millimeter hat.
     
    10. Verfahren zum Bilden einer mehrschichtigen Verbundstruktur (52) mit einer integrierten Verbindung mit Blitzschutz zwischen einem Befestigungselement und einer Oberfläche einer leitenden Schicht, wobei das Verfahren die folgenden Schritte aufweist:

    Auflegen einer leitenden Schicht (72) über ein Werkzeug (54), das eine Vielzahl von erhabenen, konisch geformten Merkmalen (56) hat, um eine Vielzahl von abgeschrägten Aussparungen (68) in dem Drahtgeflecht (60) der leitenden Schicht (72) zu bilden;

    Auflegen von mindestens einer kohlenstofffaserverstärkter Kunststoff (CFRP))-Verbundschicht über die leitende Schicht (72);

    gemeinsames Aushärten der CFRP und der leitenden Schicht (72) auf dem Werkzeug (54);

    maschinelles Bearbeiten einer Vielzahl von Löchern (70) durch die Vielzahl von Aussparungen (68) in der leitenden Schicht (72) und der angrenzenden Verbundschicht hindurch in einer Art und Weise, dass die abgeschrägten Aussparungen (68) in der leitenden Schicht (72) Versenkungen (74) definieren, die sich in Öffnungen von der Vielzahl von Löchern (70) hinein erstrecken und eine leitende Oberfläche der leitenden Schicht (72) freilegen; und

    Einführen von Befestigungselementen (78) in die Vielzahl von Löchern (70);

    wobei die abgeschrägten Aussparungen (68) in den Versenkungen (74) in der leitenden Schicht (72) elektrisch die leitenden versenkten Köpfe der Befestigungselemente (78) berühren, die in der Vielzahl von Löchern (70) installiert sind.


     
    11. Verfahren nach Anspruch 10, das des Weiteren das Auflegen einer Glasfaserschicht (58) auf das Werkzeug (54) vor dem Auflegen der leitenden Schicht (72) aufweist.
     
    12. Verfahren nach Anspruch 10 oder 11, wobei die leitende Schicht (72) ein Drahtgeflecht (60) aufweist und das Verfahren des Weiteren das Auflegen einer Klebeschicht (62) zwischen dem Drahtgeflecht (60) und der wenigstens einen CFRP-Schicht aufweist.
     
    13. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 10 bis 12, das des Weiteren das Einführen von konischen Unterlegscheiben (76) in die abgeschrägten Aussparungen (68) vor dem Einführen der Befestigungselemente (78) in die Vielzahl von Löchern (70) aufweist.
     
    14. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 10 bis 13, wobei der Schritt des maschinellen Bearbeitens einer Vielzahl von Löchern (70) das maschinelle Bearbeiten einer Vielzahl von Löchern (70) für eine Spielpassung von Befestigungselementen (78) aufweist.
     
    15. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 10-14, das des Weiteren das Bilden des Werkzeugs (54) mit einer Vielzahl von erhabenen, konisch geformten Merkmalen (56) aufweist, die einen Abschrägungswinkel von zwischen 98° und 102° haben.
     


    Revendications

    1. Structure composite muticouche (52) avec une interconnexion intégrée de protection contre la foudre de surface de fixateur sur couche conductrice, comprenant :

    une couche conductrice (72), présentant une surface intérieure (61) et une pluralité d'évidements chanfreinés coniques préformés (68) formant des fraisures (74) dans une surface extérieure (59) ; et

    une ou plusieurs couches composites en matière plastique renforcée de fibres de carbone (CFRP) disposées sur la surface intérieure (61) de la couche conductrice (72) et se conformant à cette surface ; et

    une pluralité de trous (70) s'étendant à travers la pluralité d'évidements chanfreinés (68) dans la couche conductrice (72) et la couche composite en CFRP adjacente de telle sorte que la couche conductrice (72) définit une partie de fraisure s'étendant dans des ouvertures de la pluralité de trous (70),

    des fixateurs fraisés conducteurs installés au sein de la pluralité de trous (70),

    moyennant quoi l'extension de la couche conductrice (72) dans les évidements chanfreinés (68) fournit une zone de surface électriquement conductrice formant une surface conductrice sous la forme de fraisures coniques (74) s'étendant dans chaque trou qui vient en contact avec les fixateurs fraisés conducteurs installés au sein de la pluralité de trous (70).


     
    2. Structure composite muticouche (52) avec une interconnexion intégrée de protection contre la foudre de surface de fixateur sur couche conductrice selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre une couche de fibre de verre ou de film de surfaçage (58) co-durcie sur la surface extérieure (59) de la couche conductrice (72).
     
    3. Structure composite muticouche (52) avec une interconnexion intégrée de protection contre la foudre de surface de fixateur sur couche conductrice selon une quelconque des revendications 1 à 2, comprenant en outre une couche adhésive (62) intégrée à la couche conductrice (72) entre la couche conductrice (72) et la couche composite en CFRP, lesdites couche conductrice (72), couche adhésive (62) et la couche composite en CFRP étant co-durcies sur un outil façonné (54).
     
    4. Structure composite muticouche (52) avec une interconnexion intégrée de protection contre la foudre de surface de fixateur sur couche conductrice selon une quelconque des revendications précédentes, comprenant en outre une pluralité de rondelles coniques (76) insérées dans les évidements chanfreinés (68).
     
    5. Structure composite muticouche (52) avec une interconnexion intégrée de protection contre la foudre de surface de fixateur sur couche conductrice selon la revendication 4, dans laquelle une tête conique (80) de chaque fixateur s'engage de manière conductrice avec chaque rondelle conique (76).
     
    6. Structure composite muticouche (52) avec une interconnexion intégrée de protection contre la foudre de surface de fixateur sur couche conductrice selon une quelconque des revendications 1 à 5, dans laquelle la pluralité de trous (70) sont dimensionnés pour recevoir la pluralité de fixateurs (78) selon un ajustement avec jeu.
     
    7. Structure composite muticouche (52) avec une interconnexion intégrée de protection contre la foudre de surface de fixateur sur couche conductrice selon une quelconque des revendications 1 à 6, dans laquelle la couche conductrice (72) comprend un treillis métallique (60).
     
    8. Structure composite muticouche (52) avec une interconnexion intégrée de protection contre la foudre de surface de fixateur sur couche conductrice selon la revendication 7, dans laquelle le treillis métallique (60) comprend une feuille de métal déployé, choisi dans le groupe composé de cuivre, nickel ou aluminium.
     
    9. Structure composite muticouche (52) avec une interconnexion intégrée de protection contre la foudre de surface de fixateur sur couche conductrice selon la revendication 8, dans laquelle la feuille de métal déployé a une épaisseur de 0,0254 à 0,127 millimètres (0,001 à 0,005 pouces).
     
    10. Procédé destiné à former une structure composite muticouche (52) avec une interconnexion intégrée de protection contre la foudre de surface de fixateur sur couche conductrice, comprenant les étapes consistant à :

    poser une couche conductrice (72) sur un outil (54) présentant une pluralité de caractéristiques en saillie de forme conique (56), pour former une pluralité d'évidements chanfreinés (68) dans le treillis métallique (60) de la couche conductrice (72) ;

    poser au moins une couche composite en matière plastique renforcée de fibres de carbone (CFRP) sur la couche conductrice (72) ;

    co-durcir les couches CFRP et conductrice (72) sur l'outil (54) ;

    usiner une pluralité de trous (70) à travers la pluralité d'évidements (68) dans la couche conductrice (72) et la couche composite adjacente de telle sorte que les évidements chanfreinés (68) dans la couche conductrice (72) définissent des fraisures (74) s'étendant dans des ouvertures de la pluralité de trous (70) et exposent une surface conductrice de la couche conductrice (72) ; et

    insérer des fixateurs (78) dans la pluralité de trous (70) ;

    dans lequel les évidements chanfreinés (68) dans les fraisures (74) dans la couche conductrice (72) viennent en contact électriquement avec les têtes fraisées conductrices des fixateurs (78) installés au sein de la pluralité de trous (70).


     
    11. Procédé selon la revendication 10 consistant en outre à poser une couche de fibre de verre (58) sur l'outil (54) avant de poser la couche conductrice (72).
     
    12. Procédé selon la revendication 10 ou 11, dans lequel la couche conductrice (72) comprend un treillis métallique (60) et consistant en outre à poser une couche adhésive (62) entre le treillis métallique (60) et l'au moins une couche en CFRP.
     
    13. Procédé selon une quelconque des revendications 10 à 12, consistant en outre à insérer des rondelles coniques (76) dans les évidements chanfreinés (68) avant d'insérer les fixateurs (78) dans la pluralité de trous (70).
     
    14. Procédé selon une quelconque des revendications 10 à 13, dans lequel l'étape consistant à usiner une pluralité de trous (70) consiste à usiner une pluralité de trous (70) pour un ajustement avec jeu des fixateurs (78).
     
    15. Procédé selon une quelconque des revendications 10 à 14, consistant en outre à former l'outil (54) avec une pluralité de caractéristiques en saillie de forme conique (56) présentant un angle de chanfrein compris entre 98° et 102°.
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description