Comparative life cycle assessment of thermoplastic and thermosetting CFRP in aerospace applications

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This work quantifies and compares the environmental impact of a thermoset CFRP aircraft skin panel to that of a thermoplastic CFRP panel. This comparison is done using a cradle to gate life cycle assessment including impacts from raw material extraction, manufacturing and end of life. In addition, a hotspot analysis was performed to identify processes with the highest contribution to environmental impacts of the panels. The results show that the thermoplastic panel performed better in three endpoint damage categories including damage to human health, ecosystem and resources. The results also identify carbon fibre production, electricity usage for curing/consolidation and prepreging as the major contributors to the life cycle impacts of both panels. This provides decision makers with insights on where to focus on for future improvement actions aimed at reducing the environmental footprint of CFRP structures.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 20th European Conference on Composite Materials: Composites Meet Sustainability
Subtitle of host publicationVol 6 – Life Cycle Assessment
EditorsAnastasios P. Vassilopoulos , Véronique Michaud
Place of PublicationLausanne
PublisherEPFL Lausanne, Composite Construction Laboratory
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-2-9701614-0-0
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event20th European Conference on Composite Materials: Composites Meet Sustainability - Lausanne, Switzerland
Duration: 26 Jun 202230 Jun 2022
Conference number: 20


Conference20th European Conference on Composite Materials
Abbreviated titleECCM20


  • Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
  • Environmental Impact
  • arbon Fibre Reinforced Polymers (CFRP)
  • Thermoset (TS)
  • Thermoplastic (TP)

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