HELACS, leading PLATA’s workshop on innovations in the aeronautic industry

This July, Teruel Airport (PLATA) organised an interesting workshop at its facilities, which brought together dozens of representatives from the Spanish aeronautical sector.

During the event, PLATA presented to the audience the objectives and progress of the HELACS project, as a key axis of innovation within the sector. PLATA led the presentation “Innovation and challenges in the aeronautical and aerospace industry”which analysed the incoming of dismantling strategies developed in projects such as HELACS. The HELACS project has attracted the interest of the attendees, who recognised the importance of promoting thermoplastic recycling technologies as a major strategy for the aviation industry of the future.

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  • 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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