HELACS’ Summer Course at Teruel’s Airport

This September has been a milestone within the HELACS project, thanks to the celebration of the Summer Course face-to-face session that took place at Teruel’s Airport. This activity welcomed dozens of participants who had previously attended the online course sessions. This Summer Course addressed different lines of research in the recycling of composite materials in strategic sectors, such as aviation.

HELACS project

During the session, participants had the opportunity to learn about the innovations proposed by the HELACS project for the recycling of high-value components of large composite structures, which can be found in the structure of an aircraft. In this sense, the participants were able to witness the dismantling process of the first A380 in Spain, which is being carried out at PLATA's facilities, and to learn about the operation of the waterjet cutting processes.

PLATA's facilities The Summer Course


The Summer Course has been complemented with technical knowledge linked to the green transition of the aeronautical industry, such as the chemical recycling of the BIZENTE and VIBES projects, and new lines of recycling of composites in other sectors such as the energy sector, which is being studied by the EOLO-HUBS project.


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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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