The research project dealt with the analysis and validation of the main helicopter power transmissions recycling processes and the design of recycling protocols in order to make them efficient, profitable and environmentally sustainable. This issue was in the domain of the CLEAN SKY JTI - Green Rotorcraft which had the aim to improve the environmental impact of the components in aeronautic and air transport sectors.
The main objective of the project was the developing of cost-efficient and clean recycling protocols for the components of the helicopter power transmission system. The protocols were based on experimental trials.
The activities of the project relied on four pillars: parts and their coatings, dismantling processes, stripping processes and transformation processes. The general strategy was:
- Development of a complete survey of market that surrounding the recycling of HTS. The goal of this study is the best adaptation of the HTS parts to the recycling processes.
- Study and analysis of all materials and coatings used in the manufacturing of HTS.
- Matching of each part with the most suitable recycling processes.
- Quantitative evaluation of the recycling processes.
The validation of the recycling protocols was applied in real parts pieces within two different cases:
- GRC 6.3 Tail gear box
- GRC 6.4 Intermediate gear box
Working procedure were as follows:
- Analysis of the components and filling the bill of materials.
- Selection of the possible protocols.
- Assessment of the protocols by the application of the spreadsheet.
- Select the most economic and environmental protocols.
- Recycle each component according to their protocol.
- Execution of the tests and analyses to validate each process and the overall recycling cycle.
- Cost-effectiveness analysis
In this research project no new technologies for recycling the components of the helicopter transmission systems were developed.
In the 7th Framework Program of the Directorate General of the European Commission, the CLEANSKY JTI had been established to Foster cooperation between European Companies in the Aerospace and Aviation Sector.
The CLEANSKY Green Rotorcraft aimed to improve the environmental impact of the components in aeronautic and air transport sectors, with focus on Rotary Wings Manned Vehicles.
REMART Project, in context of the CLEAN SKY JTI - Green Rotorcraft addressed the issue of Recycling of metallic materials from rotorcraft transmissions.
The transmission system transfers power from the engine to the main rotor, tail rotor and other accessories. The most important components of the transmission system are the main rotor transmission, tail rotor drive system, clutch and freewheeling unit. Helicopter transmission system (HTS) are normally lubricated and cooled with its own oil supply.
The components of the transmission system have a finite life, and they have to be recycled. There are several methods to remove coatings. Some of them are less harmful to the environment and workers than others.
The project dealt with the analysis and validation of the main recycling processes as well as the design of recycling protocols to return the components of the helicopter power transmissions to the Material’s Market, as secondary Raw Material, efficiently, profitably and environmentally sustainable.
The activities of the REMART project were developed by a consortium led by the CIDAUT Foundation (Spain), together with ITRB (Cyprus), CIDETEC (Spain) and PBLH International Consulting (Belgium) in close communication with the Topic Managers AGUSTAWESTLAND and AIRBUS HELICOPTERS.