HELACS, Transforming the dissmantling process of the next generation of aircrafts

The HELACS project has recently completed one year of life. During this time, the consortium partners have been making progresses in their research and in the development of novel robotics to recycle composite materials of large components. In this way, HELACS is consolidated as a revolutionary alternative to the problem of the end of life of this type of aircraft components, facilitating their recyclability and, therefore, making their recovery and reuse possible. helacs paves the way towards the green transition, which is now the main goal of Europe’s aviation industry.

Taking this into account, HELACS aims to develop and demonstrate a comprehensive dismantling methodology to enable the classification, recycling and reuse of large components of composite materials from aircraft that have reached the end of their useful life.

HELACS will promote the creation of new recovery routes that maximize the retention of value of the different aircraft components, increasing competitiveness and making it possible for the European aeronautical industry to lead the dismantling processes. In addition, the methodology will be extrapolated to be applied to other sectors that generate composite material waste.

AITIIP as project coordinator, together with its partners PLATA, Centexbel and ELG, will validate the results of the project through a demonstration phase at Teruel Airport.

Latest News HELACS

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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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