Composite Solutions

HELACS project innovations, one step closer to recycling large composite aircraft structures


The European HELACS project, coordinated by Aitiip Centro Tecnológico, aims to develop a dual methodology of controlled integral dismantling, to enable the classification, recycling and reuse of aircraft parts made of thermosetting and thermoplastic composite materials, which have reached the end of their useful life. Annually, the aircraft industry generates more than 40,000 tons of composite waste. With the recovery of materials, the technology proposed by HELACS will support the transition of the next generation of aircraft to an energy-efficient model.
In this sense, HELACS is conceived as a solution to future aircraft dismantling problems arising from the recent introduction of the innovative carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) material.
These materials are fully introduced in strategic industries due to their interesting mechanical properties combined with their low density. They are also suitable for replicating joining processes used in conventional metallic materials, such as riveting and welding. However, their recycling and reuse still present an operational and environmental challenge.

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