ARRIS, a California-based advanced manufacturer enabling the use of high-performance composites in mass-market products and industrial applications, has revealed a research project with Airbus which focuses on the production of cabin brackets. This aims to demonstrate significant reductions in aviation emissions by leveraging innovative manufacturing methods and materials.
By replacing a metal bracket (220g) with a topology-optimised, 3D-aligned continuous fibre composite part (50g), weight savings of more than 75% could be achieved, translating into major fuel savings because hundreds of these brackets are part of a single aircraft. For example, 100 aircraft manufactured in a year with 500 brackets each add up to 50,000 lighter-weight brackets that contribute to a lifetime fuel savings of 113M metric tons and a reduction of 357M metric tons in CO2 emissions (weight reduction effect on fuel savings and a conversion factor of fuel to CO2 emissions).
“Airbus is on a path toward cleaner, more sustainable air travel within our lifetime, and it takes exploring disruptive ideas with a substantial impact and practical application to make that change,” said Bastian Schäfer, innovation manager at Airbus.
“The way we design and manufacture airplanes is changing because of emerging technology companies like ARRIS who share and enable our vision of better air travel. We’ve known that biomimicry, topology optimisation, and advanced composites are the future, and ARRIS is helping us bring together these design and material ideals to manufacture the future of flight today.”
The impact ‘Additive Molding’ by ARRIS can have on replacement parts and future aircraft structures show that meaningful reductions in carbon emissions are truly within reach. Airbus is committed to exploring technology pathways like this to support its vision of more sustainable air travel for future generations.