Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Natural Fibre Polymer Composites – A Game Changer for the Aviation Sector?

Version 1 : Received: 27 October 2020 / Approved: 29 October 2020 / Online: 29 October 2020 (12:23:03 CET)

How to cite: Gomez-Campos, A.; Vialle, C.; Rouilly, A.; Hamelin, L.; Rogeon, A.; Hardy, D.; Sabalyrolles, C. Natural Fibre Polymer Composites – A Game Changer for the Aviation Sector?. Preprints 2020, 2020100610 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202010.0610.v1). Gomez-Campos, A.; Vialle, C.; Rouilly, A.; Hamelin, L.; Rogeon, A.; Hardy, D.; Sabalyrolles, C. Natural Fibre Polymer Composites – A Game Changer for the Aviation Sector?. Preprints 2020, 2020100610 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202010.0610.v1).

Abstract

As part of the efforts to reduce the environmental impacts caused by the aviation sector, the use of bio-based instead of fossil-based materials has been assessed as a possible mitigation option. Natural Fibre Polymer Composites have proven to have a higher environmental performance in the automotive sector and are emerging as an option for weight reduction in aircraft. This study quantifies, though Life Cycle Assessment, the environmental performance of specific flax-based composite panels intended for aircrafts as interior fitting elements (i.e. partition panels, tray tables, baggage compartments) compared to a glass fibre/epoxy composite with a honeycomb core. Through system expansion, the fate of co-products issued from the production of the flax fibre technical textile used as reinforcement in the biocomposite material were considered in the assessment. Results showed that for an application in the aeronautics sector, the weight of the panels is the upmost critical parameter shaping the overall environmental performance of panels. Focusing on the panel production only, the biocomposite panel showed a higher environmental performance in the categories of climate change and marine eutrophication compared to the conventional panel, and the fire suppressant agent was identified as the main contributor to the environmental impacts of the bio-based panel. Yet these gains were negligible when considering the full life cycle of the panels, due to the higher weight (14%) of the bio-based panels; which is linked to the bio-based panel being at a prototype stage.In order to improve the environmental performance of the biocomposite panel and thus reduce its weight, it was shown relevant to optimize geometry of the panel itself, especially its core, so less resin could be used.

Subject Areas

Life Cycle Assessment; Bio-based materials; Flax fibre; Climate change; Aviation; Interior fittings

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