Reducing fuel emissions
“At Collins, one of the biggest areas where we can most dramatically impact
sustainability is via the weight and resiliency of our products – so that’s
where our Advanced Structures business is focusing its efforts,” said David
Manten, general manager of Engineered Thermoplastics. “Lighter aircraft equate
to lower emissions and a greater ability to reach our industry’s goal of being
carbon zero by 2050.”
With our latest thermoplastic welding technologies, we’re developing
integrated structures, eliminating the need for thousands of fasteners -- all of
which add weight to an aircraft. We’re also expanding our use of thermoplastic
composite parts. Although thermoplastics have been around for decades, we’ve
developed specific technologies that enable the production of larger and more
complex parts as well as the integration of parts through welding. Both ways
will reduce the need for metallic fasteners which automatically result in a
decreased weight solution.
As an example, consider the total number of seats on an aircraft, how much
each seat currently weighs, and the savings that could result if there was a way
to decrease just a percentage of each seat’s weight. For a 200-passenger
aircraft, it could add up to a considerable difference. Lighter seats would mean
a lighter aircraft and therefore a corresponding reduction in carbon emissions.
Achieving that goal is why we’re currently working to incorporate lighter
thermoplastic materials into seats and a variety of other aircraft components.
“Our aerospace customers are depending on us to drive sustainability
throughout our supply chain. Offering lighter weight products by incorporating
thermoplastic composites is a great example of how we are meeting this need,”
In fact, thermoplastic composites can reduce the weight of structural
components by up to 50 percent as compared to metallic solutions and up to 20
percent when compared to thermoset solutions.