2012 Volume 132 Issue 3 Pages 276-283
CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic) is widely used in the structures of aircrafts, automobiles, wing turbines, and rockets because of its qualities of high mechanical strength, low weight, fatigue resistance, and dimensional stability. However, these structures are often at risk of being struck by lightning. When lightning strikes such structures and lightning current flows through the CFRP, it may be structurally damaged because of the impact of the lightning strike or ignitions between layers. If there are electronic systems near the CFRP, they may break down or malfunction because of the resulting electromagnetic disturbance. In fact, the generation mechanisms of these breakdowns and malfunctions depend on the current distribution in the CFRP. Hence, it is critical to clarify the current distribution in various kinds of CFRPs. In this study, two kinds of CFRP panels—one composed of quasi-isotropic lamination layers and the other composed of 0°/90° lamination layers of unidirectional CFRP prepregs—are used to investigate the dependence of current distribution on the nature of the lamination layers. The current distribution measurements and simulations for CFRP panels are compared with those for a same-sized aluminum plate. The knowledge of these current distribution characteristics would be very useful for designing the CFRP structures of aircrafts, automobiles, wing turbines, rockets, etc. in the future.