Arris Composites and Airbus collaborate on the search for composites to lighten the cabin supports


Composite support. Photo credit: Arris Composites, Airbus

State-of-the-art manufacturer Arris Composites (Berkeley, California, United States) unveils a research project with Airbus (Toulouse, France) that focuses on the production of cabin mounts. This project aims to demonstrate significant reductions in aviation emissions by taking advantage of innovative manufacturing methods and materials, including composites.

According to Arris, replacing a metal support (220 grams) with a continuous fiber composite part aligned in 3D and optimized for topology (50 grams) saves more than 75% in weight; it also translates into highly optimized fuel savings, since hundreds of these carriers are part of a single aircraft. For example, 100 airplanes manufactured in one year with 500 mounts each add up to 50,000 lighter mounts which contribute to a lifetime fuel economy of 113 million metric tons and a reduction of 357 million metric tons of CO.2 emissions (weight reduction effect on fuel economy and fuel to CO conversion factor2 emissions; see the International Council on Clean Transportation’s commercial aviation analysis report).

“Airbus is on the path to cleaner and more sustainable air travel in our lifetimes, and it takes exploring disruptive ideas with substantial impact and practical application to bring about this change,” says Bastian Schäfer, head of l innovation at Airbus. “The way we design and manufacture airplanes is changing due to emerging technology companies like Arris sharing and enabling our vision of better air travel. We know that biomimicry, topology optimization, and advanced composites are the future, and Arris is helping us bring these design and material ideals together to fabricate the future of flight today.

In addition, Arris Composites notes that its additive molding technology, using a combination of additive manufacturing (AM) and high speed compression molding processes, will have a big impact on spare parts and future aircraft structures, proving that it is possible to reduce carbon emissions. Airbus itself is committed to exploring technological avenues like this to support its vision of more sustainable air transport for future generations.

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