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Energy efficiency and ecological benefits of a self-heated CFRP tool designed for resin transfer moulding

: Arikan, E.; Hohmann, A.; Kammerhofer, P.; Reppe, M.; Remer, N.; Drechsler, K.

European Society for Composite Materials:
17th European Conference on Composite Materials, ECCM 2016. Proceedings : 26-30th June 2016, Munich, Germany, CD-ROM
Munich, 2016
ISBN: 978-3-00-053387-7
European Conference on Composite Materials (ECCM) <17, 2016, Munich>
Fraunhofer ICT ()

Due to the continuously growing ecological requirements in the aerospace industry in service as well as in the production, solutions for more environmentally friendly product life cycles have to be developed. The ecological effectiveness of manufacturing helicopter rotor blades out of carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP) using a self-heated CFRP tool for resin transfer moulding (RTM) is investigated. The energy consumption and the resulting ecological impact are compared to the state of the art technology, an aluminium series prodcution tool for the Prepreg technology. Through a power measurement during the use-phase, the energy consumption is determined for both tools. The ecological benefit is evaluated through a life cycle assessment (LCA), regarding four common impact categories. The measurements prove that a self-heated CFRP tool can lead to significant energy savings of 87 % during the use-phase. Combined with a RTM process also a cycle time reduction of 41 % c an be achieved. In addition the LCA identifies a saving potential of over 40 % in all regarded impact categories. In summary the investigations demonstrate that curing of composite structures is ecologically worthwhile with a self-heated CFRP tool.