Understanding aerospace composite components' supply chain carbon emissions

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This paper examines a large structural component and its supply chain. The component is representative of that used in the production of civil transport aircraft and is manufactured from carbon fibre epoxy resin prepreg, using traditional hand layup and autoclave cure. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is used to predict the component’s production carbon emissions. The results determine the distribution of carbon emissions within the supply chain, identifying the dominant production processes as carbon fibre manufacture and composite part manufacture. The elevated temperature processes of material and part creation, and the associated electricity usage, have a significant impact on the overall production emissions footprint. The paper also demonstrates the calculation of emissions footprint sensitivity to the geographic location and associated energy sources of the supply chain. The results verify that the proposed methodology is capable of quantitatively linking component and supply chain specifics to manufacturing processes and thus identifying the design drivers for carbon emissions in the manufacturing life of the component.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventIrish Manufacturing Conference, IMC32 - Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 03 Sep 201504 Sep 2015


ConferenceIrish Manufacturing Conference, IMC32
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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