Aircraft interior including galley Copyright: © Safran Cabin Germany

Key Data

Level: National

Partners: 8

Duration: 01.2023 - 12.2025



Nils Kroell

Research Group Leader "Sensor Technology and Data Science"


+49 241 80-99343



Development of a recycling and production system for the restoration of interior components and reduction of material consumption in the aviation industry

High disposal costs and low material efficiency of maintenance and repair processes are facing increasing resource scarcity and the demand for environmentally friendly aviation. It is estimated that about 29,000 passenger aircrafts will reach their end of life in the next 30 years, most of which will have to be decommissioned due to technical constraints.

The recovery of non-metallic materials from aircraft has been little studied. ORAM makes hitherto unused valuable material potentials in aircraft visible and usable through the development of adapted material recycling. The aim of the project is to make the design and repair of aircraft cabins more resource-efficient and emission-reducing by recycling high-performance polymers and returning them to the material cycle, and to counteract future raw material shortages.

In the ORAM project, the project partners are involved in various work phases ranging from the preparation of components into pre-concentrates, to mechanical and chemical recycling, to the additive manufacturing of new components, as well as the certification of the developed process and ecological evaluation of the advantages achieved. As part of the project, a plant demonstrator for processing recycled high-temperature materials to produce certified components will be built.

Within the framework of ORAM, the chair of Anthropogenic Material Cycles is focusing on the crushing, preconditioning and sorting of end-of-life components as a starting point for mechanical and chemical recycling. In addition, it will be examined whether the detection of selected high-performance polymers as well as foreign objects is possible through the further development of sensor-optical measures, which aims to provide better pre-product qualities already in the conditioning phase. Finally, a life cycle assessment will be drawn up to compare the closed-loop process using additive manufacturing with the previous linear use of plastic components in aircraft.

The project is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. The duration of the project is 3 years.

Project partners are SAFRAN Cabin Germany GmbH, ModuleWorks GmbH, Arburg GmbH & Co KG, the Institute of Technical and Macromolecular Chemistry (ITMC) of RWTH Aachen University, the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of RWTH Aachen University, Siemens AG, and the German-Emirati Institute.