Aluminium recycling in aircraft life cycle
To reduce our environmental footprint, we are constantly looking at ways to make improvements across the entire life cycle of our aerospace products.
Making aerospace aluminium sustainable
Aluminium has remarkable environmental qualities. It is a valuable material that can be recycled without loss of quality. Moreover, the scrap re-melting process uses just 5% of the energy needed to produce the original product.
Given the significant environmental and economic benefits of recycling, we have launched a multitude of initiatives to support aluminium recycling in the aircraft industry.
In our plants, for example, scrap is collected by alloy type and recycled into the same alloy, keeping its properties and minimizing energy use. We have also extended this collection by alloy type to our customers, thus further enhancing the efficiency of the recycling process.
New life from old aircraft
We also recycle aluminium from aircraft no longer in service. Aluminium accounts for more than two-thirds of a modern commercial aircraft’s weight. This can be re-melted to make new aerospace parts.
The PAMELA pilot project, coordinated by Airbus and supported by the European Union demonstrated the viability of commercial aircraft recycling. A300 wings and cockpit parts were recycled at Constellium Issoire plant with a recovery yield of over 90%, resulting in new aluminium ready for use in future aircraft.
Thousands of aircraft are scheduled for retirement over the next two decades, we are determined to work with our aerospace industry partners to maximize recycling opportunities and reduce the environmental footprint .
Thousands of commercial aircraft are scheduled for retirement over the next two decades. We are determined to maximize recycling opportunities.