Polymers as Aerospace Structural Components: How to Reach Sustainability?

William E. Dyer, Baris Kumru*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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The aerospace industry has been benefiting from the utilization of polymer materials since fiber-reinforced polymer composites (FRPC) offer high performances at low densities compared to metals. FRPC facilitated the design of lightweight materials, which is extensively used in aviation today. Since their first integration into structural parts, FRPC has experienced exponential growth over the years and has received a special interest from manufacturing engineering. While FRPC today is a major focus in engineering, the design of polymer matrix relies on polymer chemistry. However, aircraft materials are facing a pressing issue related to sustainability, since their environmental footprint is at an alarming level. In this review, commercial thermosetting polymer composites employed in aircraft structures are exhibited from a chemistry perspective by depicting starting products and curing reactions. The potential of chemistry to help design next-generation sustainable FRPC for structural parts by means of utilization of sustainable feedstock, energy-efficient processing, and recycling, is disseminated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2300186
Number of pages25
JournalMacromolecular Chemistry and Physics
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • aircraft polymers
  • composite manufacturing
  • composite recycling
  • frontal polymerization
  • polymer composites
  • sustainable resins


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