A new material will reduce aeronautical parts repair from days to minutes


Cidetec Surface Engineering is currently developing a new material for the aeronautical and energy industry that will enable huge savings on both time and maintenance costs. This research forms part of the NEOCROSS project, which aims to develop and offer a new generation of high-performance composites and epoxy adhesives allowing subsequent disassembly. The new composites will be manufactured using traditional methods, but unlike those existing today they will enable the parts to be disassembled and easily repaired by applying heat and pressure to the damaged area.

The composites to be developed in the NEOCROSS project still have all the advantages of conventional thermosets – high thermal and mechanical performance – but they also have all the benefits of the 3R technology developed by Cidetec: they can be repaired, reprocessed and recycled. This is made possible by an innovative system of thermoset resin with dynamic cross-links responsible for the 3R properties.

One of the major advantages of NEOCROSS is the repairability of the manufactured parts, avoiding most of the drawbacks of current composite repair technologies. This new material is repaired by applying heat and pressure with a portable repair tool. This means work that had previously taken hours or even days can be done in minutes, with complete recovery of the material’s properties. Also, the innovative NEOCROSS adhesive with tailored disassembly will allow for easy separation of the damaged parts, meaning the delaminated parts can be taken apart for repair.

The NEOCROSS innovations will lead to development of quicker and cheaper repair technologies for composite delaminations, both under production and in service, also enabling recovery of manufacturing rejects. All this means lower costs for airlines and also for wind turbine manufacturers and maintenance centres.

The NEOCROSS project – “New epoxy matrix composite with self-healing properties via dynamic crosslinking” – co-financed by the member states within the EUREKA framework and the EC, will conclude in 2023. The project coordinator is GAIRESA and the participants in addition to Cidetec Surface Engineering are SOFITEC,GMI Aero SAS and RESCOLL.