Helacs, at JEC World 2023

JEC World is the leading international composites show, organized in Paris every year, where the whole value chain of the composite materials industry gathers. It offers a unique showcase of what composites can offer to various application sectors, like aerospace and automotive.

Helacs, at JEC World 2023

Even though most fiber reinforced composites are currently made with glass fibers, it was carbon fibers that were dominating the JEC fair. Most composites are for aeronautics are made with carbon fiber fabrics and thermoset resins or high demanding thermoplastic resins like PEEK. However, at JEC it was clear that recycled materials become more important, even in aviation, which was clear in the innovation hub. Examples are the rCFRP heald frame from Toyota and the aerospace thermoplastic blocker door from Sekisui. This shows that the research that is being done in Helacs is necessary to increase the applications containing recycled fibers even further.

Latest News HELACS

  • For aircrafts that are no longer in service, the owner considers the trade-off between direct resale and disassemble & recycled. Besides that, HELACS project (Holistic processes for the cost-effective and sustainable management of End of Life of Aircraft Composite Structures) is focused on the study of the second one of these options.

  • AITIIP Technology Centre leads HELACS, a European project which aims to develop a dual methodology of controlled comprehensive dismantling in order to make possible the classification, recycling and reuse of aircraft parts made of thermoset and thermoplastic composites that have reached their end of life. Annually, the aeronautical industry is depositing more than 40,000 tons of end-of-life composite material waste in landfills. Thanks to the recovery of materials, the technology proposed by HELACS will benefit the change towards an energy efficiency model.

  • You can now download the official HELACS project brochure. A project comes to transform the dismantling process of the aircraft of the future. HELACS employs novel robotics to recycle composite materials of large components. The HELACS process is based on the application of high water pressure that will selectively chop the thermoset parts into a dimension suitable for recycling. In addition, the pyrolysis process is used for the carbonization of the thermoset matrix to reuse the carbon fibers that overcome this chemical decomposition.

This project has received funding from the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement Nº 101007871
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