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Dr. Faheem Uddin, C. Text.

Associate Professor, UMT
Ph. D from University of Manchester, UK
Fellow of The Textile Institute, UK,
HEC approved supervisor for Ph. D research
UNESCO- AEGIS survey laureate
30 textile research papers in international

refereed journals
15 year working experience worldwide

Textiles in Aerospace Applications

Textiles in aerospace
Dr. Faheem Uddin, C. Text., FTI

Textile Department, SST, University of Management and Technology,

Lahore, Pakistan.

Presentation contents

Presentation aims
What is aerospace and aerospace industry
Why textile in interdisciplinary applications
What are aerospace textiles
G- suit
Astronauts suiting
User stations/ missions
Suits for planetary explorations
Performance requirements from textiles
DRA forecasts and Pakistan

Presentation aims
Introducing textiles used in aerospace

Realizing the significance of aerospace
Motivating the research R & D interest in
technical textiles

What is aerospace and aerospace

Aerospace can be aeronautics (flight science in Earth's atmosphere)

and space flight (vehicle movement beyond the atmosphere).

It deals with flight, and the aerospace industry manufactures for things
that fly. The jobs are done by team of specialized individiuals.

In most industrial countries, the aerospace industry is a cooperation of

public and private industries. For example, several countries have a
space program under the command of the government, such as NASA
in the United States, ESA in Europe, the Canadian Space Agency in
Canada, RKA in Russia, China National Space Administration in China,
and Iranian Space Agency in Iran.
Along with these public space programs, many companies produce
technical tools and components such as spaceships and satellites.

From Wikipedia

Why textile in interdisciplinary

Textiles as material have dynamism for

interdisciplinary applications: Why is that!

High strength
Flexibility in structure
Air and vapor permeability
High strength to weight ratio
Stability to environmental conditions
Conformable to shape and sizes

Textiles in aircraft
From pilot clothing to plane- would be


Aerospace textiles
Aerospace textile is an area of technical

textiles that covers special finished products

to engineered textiles.
It includes the textile containing articles for
specific functional requirements to work in
aircrafts, space shuttles, lunar and mars
mission, and space transportation.

Textile fibers in aeroplanes

Since 1960, significant rise in the use of carbon fiber is

By 2006, Boeing 787 consisted of 50 % by weight and
80 % by volume carbon fiber- that was a textile plane.
Carbon fiber was used as laminates for control surfaces,
the flaps, spoilers, gear doors (main landing doors are
larger than the wings in fighter planes- generally).
The interior of Boeing 747 400 was from carbon fiber,
and there are 1200 flying today.
Modern commercial aircrafts are made of fabric layers
pasted with resin in a composite.
Source: Alan K Pritchard, textiles, (2008), Volume 35, No. 4, 15-16.

Carbon fibers
Carbon fibers (cf) provide the properties in

composites including high strength, stiffness, lower

weight, outstanding fatigue characteristics.
Light weight material are particularly suited to military
Carbon fiber density is 1750 kg per cubic mtr.
60 % cf of world production is consumed in US, 50 %
of world production capacity is in Japan.

Source: Raghavendra R. Hedge, //

Flammability properties, fire hazard, of aircraft

carbon- fiber structural composite are recently,

October 2007, released by US department of
transportation, federal aviation administration to the
US public though NTIS.

G- Suits
Type of garment generally in the form of tightly fitting

trousers worn by aviators to control the blood circulation

at higher level of acceleration.
It is to reduce blood flow to lower side of human body
under the influence of acceleration or deceleration.
Generally, a g-suit is composed of inflatable bladders,
containing air or liquid that can be pressurized using a gsensitive valve and held firm to legs and abdomen under
higher values of g.
The principle desired function of g-suit is to resist the
blood draining from brain and upper body parts to legs of

G- suitii

G- suit..iii
Blood pooling results in preventing the loss of conscious

and the variation in the level of visibility of aircraft pilot.

The initial effect of blood pooling in lower parts is a
reduced level of vision termed as grey- out (= browning
of scene). Stronger vision loss is termed as tunnelvision, and the ultimate result is a black- out effect called
g-induced loss of consciousness (g- LOC).
Development project on the study of g- suit at NED
University with a public department was an encouraging
step in gaining the local skill.

G- induced black out

G- suit
Pilot, as a result of rapid changes in the

acceleration, typically, in few seconds a pilot

weighing 160 pound can feel a nine times gain in
his weight reaching to 1440 pounds.
Currently the g-suits are available that can retain
the aviator consciousness under an acceleration
of 9g.
Popular Science Magazine, California (USA).
The magazine had recognized an Air Force Test
Pilot School tested prototype anti- gravity suit in
the top-100 technology development of 2000.

Space suits
The clothing used in space crafts is generally called

space suits.
Apollo, Skylab, Space Shuttle,International Space
Station (ISS) and Constellation had benefited from the
performance of textiles.
However, all these were of highly specialized nature in
design, material development, fabrication, testing and
quality assurance.
NASA (National Aeronautic and Space Administration)
had used space suit pressure garment. Apollo A7LB was
the first highly mobile space suit that helped astronauts
to walk on the lunar surface in late 1960s.

Textiles- going in space

In space shuttle

Apollo A7LB

Space Shuttle Extravehicular Mobility Unit

Space Shuttle Extravehicular Mobility Unit

(EMU) can be described as a waist entry suit

with a hard upper torso (HUT) and relatively
softer mobility joints made of fabric.
EMU suits were particularly to work in zero

Suits for planetary explorations

For planetary exploration, improved mobility and waist

flexing are important for moving up and down for

kneeling and ground features study.
Entry method is considered as an important feature, and
the space suits had been named in terms of entry types.
These include waist entry, rear entry, bi-planar entry and
soft zipper type entry. Several characteristics of spacesuit including suit sizing, suit mass, suit volume, suit
comfort etc. have resulted from the entry type.
The considerations of vehicle and surrounding interfaces
including air locks, hatches and manned rover (a small
vehicle launched from a Lander and used to explore the
surface of the moon or planet) are addressed in the
design of entry type.

Manned rovers
Moon rovers

Parachute is a type of space textiles contributing

in the space operations. It is effectively

contributing in aerospace motion for men and
Parachutes help the safe decent of person or
material from aerospace to ground surface.
These can also be used for horizontal
deceleration of fixed- wing aircraft


Generally, a parachute composes of thin light- weight fabric,

supporting tapes and suspension lines.

Nylon, polyester, Kevlar and Nomex fiber types can be used in fabric
for parachute.
The tethers connecting the parachute to back shell are made of
Kevlar. Significant physical properties are demonstrated by the
fibers including Kevlar, Nomex types fibers. Strength of Kevlar fibers
is five times greater than steel on an equal weight basis.
The toughness and high rigidity are useful to produce engineered
textiles where resistance to cut and shock is desired. Flexibility and
weather resistance of fibers provide interesting features to achieve
in aerospace operations.
The forces acting upon the parachute following its full expansion are
addressed in developing the design of parachute. Typically, these
forces can be calculated from the atmospheric density, velocity,
parachute drag area and mass.

Textile performance in aerospace

Low shrinkage
High abrasion and impact resistance
Thermal and electrical insulation
Flame retardancy
Higher thermal- mechanical properties
Stability to UV effects
Stability to ozone effects
Non- hygroscopic
High strength to weight ratio

Traditional functional textiles

The textile articles derived from home products

however, with added functionality.

Upholstery fabrics
Wall covers
Head set
Floor covering
Seat covers etc.

DRA forecasts for technical textile

market share

ROW- rest of the world

29 %
24 %
44 % (Lets find Pakistan!)

Presentation closed
For further interest in technical textile product

development and performance evaluation

interests- contact details;