Hybrid stiffening panel for use in the freight hold of aircrafts. (©Fraunhofer ICT)

Copper cables run through the fuselage of aircrafts. They transmit electrical signals for temperature-measuring sensors, LEDs in ceilings, or electronic connections in seats. During their installation, individual cables are combined into harnesses. A new manufacturing process eliminates the classic laying of the cable harnesses, saving space and weight.

Electrically conductive silver ink is applied by screen or inkjet printing in layers of only a few microns directly onto lightweight aerospace materials such as high-temperature-resistant plastics. The lightweight components are flame-retardant, stable, can be automated in large quantities, and are easy to assemble.