When parts or full airframes reach the end of their life span, automation and other Industry 4.0 systems shall support recycling processes to increase the value of the constituent composite and metal materials.

The overall aim of this research focus is the economically viable automated aircraft fuselage dismantling and material separation, through the set-up of a rivet removal demonstrator using robotics and water jet cutting for improved recovery of high-quality aluminium recycling materials.

Specifically, main structural aircraft components shall be dismantled by:

  • Application of water jet cutting through/around/next to rivets;
  • Isolation of the main structural components (shells, stiffeners, frames) according to size & alloys;
  • Sorting by alloy group;