Concept and Objectives:

Despite the development of advanced composite components in aeronautics, metal alloys are still necessary for the development of aircraft parts able to sustain demanding in-flight conditions. This is however a rather demanding industry and the creation of new metal-based alloy components has serious impacts in both the environment and the financial permeability of airline companies.

As a result, maintenance and repair operations (MRO) gain great attention in order to ensure that minimum waste is produced from old planes, flight damages or even parts failing quality management. Currently there is a grand selection of maintenance and repair techniques being applied in aeronautic components, which however present limitations, challenges and even malicious side-effects on the parts being repaired.

The ultimate aim of the CORSAIR project is to develop Cold Spray applications that will overcome the limitations of existing repair technologies in the aerospace industry (such as TIG welding and plasma spraying), introducing in this way a reliable and sustainable MRO alternative in order to:

  • provide cost-efficient solutions
  • enhance green technologies and environmental-friendly operations
  • be human-oriented, in the sense that toxic fumes and chemicals should be avoided
  • overcome current challenges related to the material structures’ re-shaping and re-organization occurring during maintenance and repair processes

CORSAIR represents a wide investigation concerning the capabilities of Cold Spray Technology for maintenance and repair of aeronautical frames and components, aiming to better understand its full capacities and range of applications. This investigation starts from the state of the art of the currently available processes and technologies in aeronautics including the current Cold Spray applications and pointing out the more critical aspects and objectives which need to be achieved in order to attain a more cost-effective and eco-sustainable maintenance and disposal approach.

CORSAIR Results in brief:

The research will consider a multi-scale approach aimed at finding the optimal process parameters, as a function of the applications of interest. This will allow for a full validation of the Cold Spray repairing technology for the aeronautical industry. More specifically, the activities of the project are organized along the following axes:

  • Exploration of the capabilities of Cold Spray in several practical examples of aeronautical repair applications
  • Investigation of the coating and repair characteristics
  • Investigation of the effects and the characteristics of feedstock materials and definition of the optimized characteristics for the supply
  • Provision of the required reliability to the coating deposition and repair processes, towards a full validation of the technology for the aeronautical industry
  • Development of new nozzles for out-of-view surfaces, in order to surpass technological limitations of line-in-sight Cold Spray deposition processes
  • Development of a New Industrial Portable Cold Spray Unit, to extend the capabilities of in-situ MRO applications

A successful CORSAIR project will ensure a strong strategic impact and will have clear socio-economic benefits within the next five to ten years.

The CORSAIR research will enable repairing a much wider range of defects, across a wider range of elements, even with a structural function. This offers more repairing capabilities than it is currently possible, at a lower cost and with less environmental impact.

In the strictest sense, relative to operational and logistical improvements, an additional benefit from the innovative CORSAIR technology includes the reduction of the scheduled maintenance requirements.

The project results will lead towards an improved reliability and mechanical strength of airplane components by the development of new customized and optimized coatings.

CORSAIRS’s new environment- and human-oriented solutions will also enhance the green development of EU aeronautical industry by offering more responsible and efficient use of energy and resources, carbon footprint reduction by extending the lifetime and reuse of components, as well as safer and more efficient air transport.