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Advanced engineering research and training for harsh weather aircraft
By Jackey Locke
Dr. Hsiao’s research on asset integrity issues of large-scale, light-weight aircraft skins and innovative coatings will improve environmental adaptability of Bombardier 415 water bombers.

Harsh weather environments provide a particular challenge for researchers creating amphibious aircrafts.

Dr. Amy Hsiao is focusing on this challenge. The associate professor in Memorial’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science is zeroing in on the prevention of corrosion of large-scale aluminum alloys used in the aircraft, the exploration of fatigue and wear mechanisms leading to corrosion, and developing the use of novel coatings to optimize the lifetime of the material.

Dr. John Shirokoff, who is a collaborator on the project, and Dr. Hsiao have begun to explore non-destructive techniques to detect crack growth and propagation in large-scale aircraft structures and coupling these traditional techniques with novel materials characterization and environmental testing.

Dr. Hsiao’s research will include corrosion testing and simulations, mechanical testing, materials characterization, processing and characterization of novel coating and risk, safety and adaptability to Newfoundland and Labrador’s climate.

“We will be developing corrosion-testing capabilities to address the materials issues encountered by amphibious aircraft operating in coastal-to-northern harsh environments, such as those experienced in the province,” said Dr. Hsiao. “The surfaces and interfaces of large-scale aluminum alloys used in amphibious aircraft applications are subjected to environmental and various service conditions.”

With $600,000 in funding support from Bombardier and the Research & Development Corporation (RDC), Dr. Hsiao hopes to contribute toward best practices in corrosion monitoring, materials testing and structural marine operations.

“I am very excited to be leading this research in collaboration with Bombardier and with the support of the RDC,” she said. “RDC’s investment supports us in addressing technical concerns shared by multinational companies such as Bombardier. The applied and collaborative nature of the project exemplifies the province’s position as a proactive, globally-conscious participant in advanced engineering research and training.”

 

 

Feb 26th, 2014

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