A digital methodology for the design process of aerospace assemblies with sustainable composite processes & manufacture

W. McEwan, J. Butterfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The well established benefits of composite materials are driving a significant shift in design and manufacture strategies for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Thermoplastic composites have advantages over the traditional thermosetting materials with regards to sustainability and environmental impact features which are becoming increasingly pertinent in the aerospace arena. However when sustainability and environmental impact are considered as design drivers integrated methods for part design and product development must be developed so that any benefits of sustainable composite material systems can be assessed during the design process. These methods must include mechanisms to account for process induced part variation and techniques related to re-forming recycling and decommissioning which are in their infancy. It is proposed in this paper that predictive techniques related to material specification part processing and product cost of thermoplastic composite components be integrated within a Through Life Management (TLM) product development methodology as part of a larger strategy of product system modeling to improve disciplinary concurrency realistic part performance and to place sustainability at the heart of the design process. This paper reports the enhancement of digital manufacturing tools as a means of drawing simulated part manufacturing scenarios real time costing mechanisms and broader lifecycle performance data capture into the design cycle. The work demonstrates predictive processes for sustainable composite product manufacture and how a Product-Process-Resource (PPR) structure can be customised and enhanced to include design intent driven by 'Real' part geometry and consequent assembly. your paper.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1683-1688
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Composite
  • interdisciplinary
  • Manufacturing methodology
  • Thermoplastic
  • through life management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Plant Science
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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