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INN-PAEK project succeeds in manufacturing a 100% recyclable injection molded thermoplastic turbine for the aircraft of the future

Aitiip Technology Center, in collaboration with the multinational Liebherr, closes the European project INN-PAEK, which has been coordinating for three years, after having achieved promising scientific-technical results. Aitiip has succeeded in developing an innovative proprietary technology that enables the production of parts with complex geometries in thermoplastic material, by means of injection processes. INN-PAEK has successfully completed the manufacture of the turbine that makes up the cooling systems of airplanes, which is also 100% recyclable. This is a revolutionary demonstrator, since until now only metallic materials had been used as a solution, and it contributes to improving the sustainability of the aviation industry.

Thermoplastic is a polymeric material whose properties are highly advantageous for the aeronautics and transport sector in general: it is light and versatile, can be recycled at the end of its useful life, and can be reused for the manufacture of new parts. INN-PAEK's technological solution makes it possible to replace the conventional manufacturing process of today's metal turbines, where the various parts are welded together, with injection molding. A process that favors "one-shot" production, thus optimizing the process itself in terms of time, energy consumption and cost reduction. Aitiip has managed to adapt this injection process to the particular and complex geometry required for the production of these parts, also in a more sustainable material.

INN-PAEK's research, pioneer in the world, has receiver almost 800,000 euros in funding from the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking, within the European Union's Horizon 2020 framework program.

Towards greener aviation

The results of the INN-PAEK project are offered as an advanced, more sustainable and environmentally friendly production system from which the aviation industry of the future can benefit. An industry that is being redirected by Europe towards circularity and that will require alternative structures and components in the coming years to achieve the goal of reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 20%. It is estimated that some 40,000 new aircraft will be needed over the next two decades to meet transport needs.

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