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Airbus explores shape-changing carbon
Friday, 17 October 2014

Shape-shifting materials that could make aircraft simpler and lighter, potentially saving fuel, are being developed by Airbus and researchers at MIT.

Made of carbon fibre composites, the materials shift between two or more shapes in response to changes in heat, air pressure or other environmental factors. They can be easily integrated into aircraft, replacing the need for more complex hydraulic actuators, motors and hinges. The first application might be in a jet engine?s air intake valve, which needs to adjust as the plane changes altitude.