The purpose of this paper is to quantify the environmental footprint and cost and thus compare different manufacturing scenarios associated with the production of aeronautical structural components.
A representative helicopter canopy, i.e., canopy of the EUROCOPTER EC Twin Star helicopter described in Pantelakis et al. (2009), has been considered for the carbon footprint (life cycle energy and climate change impact analysis) along with the life cycle costing analysis. Four scenarios – combinations of different manufacturing technologies (autoclave and resin transfer molding (RTM)) and end-of-life treatment scenarios (mechanical recycling and pyrolysis) are considered.
Using the models developed the expected environmental and cost benefits by involving the RTM technique have been quantified. The environmental impact was expressed in terms of energy consumption and of Global Warming Potential-100. From an environmental standpoint, processing the canopy using the RTM technique leads to decreased energy demands as compared to autoclaving because of the shorter curing cycles exhibited from this technique and thus the less time needed. As far as the financial viability of both processing scenarios is concerned, the more steps needed for preparing the mold and the need for auxiliary materials increase the material and the labor cost of autoclaving as compared to RTM.
At the early design stages in aeronautics, a number of disciplines (environmental, financial and mechanical) should be taken into account in order to evaluate alternative scenarios (material, manufacturing, recycling, etc.). In this paper a methodology is developed toward this direction, quantifying the environmental and financial viability of different manufacturing scenarios associated with the production of aeronautical structures.
The present work is a preliminary study performed within NHYTE project (NHYTE, 2017-2020). The NHYTE project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under Grant Agreement No. 723309.
Loukopoulos, A., Katsiropoulos, C.V. and Pantelakis, S.G. (2019), "Carbon footprint and financial evaluation of an aeronautic component production using different manufacturing processes", International Journal of Structural Integrity, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 425-435. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSI-07-2018-0043
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