Design of a hybrid carbon fibre/carbon nanotube composite for enhanced lightning strike resistance

Xiang Ma, Fabrizio Scarpa*, Hua-Xin Peng, Giuliano Allegri, Jie Yuan, Romeo Ciobanu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)
543 Downloads (Pure)


This work presents a set of analytical design models to predict the electrical and mechanical properties of hybrid carbon nanotubes (CNT)/carbon-fibre (CF)/epoxy composites for potential use in fuselage and airframe constructions against lightning strike. The models are validated by experimental data from open literature. An optimization process is carried out to identify the microstructural configuration of the composite that provides the highest improvement in terms of electrical conductivity for the lowest structural weight in a CFRP fuselage design. The through-the-thickness conductivity of the composite laminate is considerably enhanced by a 2% volume fraction dispersion of CNTs within the matrix resin. The increase in the dielectric properties is accompanied by a moderate improvement of the composite mechanical performance. The hybrid CFRP/CNT composite configuration leads to a weight-efficient design solution for representative fuselage structures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-377
Number of pages11
JournalAerospace Science and Technology
Early online date13 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • Carbon fibre composite
  • Carbon nanotube
  • Design
  • Fuselage panel
  • Lightning strike protection
  • Optimization


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