Professors Lucas Hof and Redouane Zitoune have studied the possibilities of compositional repair of aerospace parts using 3D printing to optimize the use of resources. Read a summary of their work. 


As the aerospace industry evolves, embracing circular economic principles is essential for modernization and environmental responsibility. By prioritizing resource efficiency and waste minimization, circular strategies streamline manufacturing processes, reducing unnecessary material wastage. In this context, our research project focuses on developing composite repair techniques using additive manufacturing, aligning with the principles of circular manufacturing to enhance resource utilization in aerospace engineering practices. 

Our study critically examines traditional approach of replacement and repair in aerospace maintenance. Through in-depth analysis, we demonstrate that advanced repair techniques offer a greener alternative, reducing the environmental impact associated with manufacturing new parts while also providing significant cost savings over time. 

Our research explores innovative approaches through precision machining operations and fabrication techniques for developing repair patches for aerospace applications. Leveraging cutting-edge technologies in additive manufacturing and advanced non-conventional machining, we aim to address critical challenges in aerospace maintenance and overhaul, contributing to circular economic practices. 

With the support of Airbus, France, our research team conducted comprehensive technical studies to simulate composite repair processes at a laboratory level. By validating the feasibility and effectiveness of our proposed repair techniques, we lay the groundwork for future advancements in aerospace repair. Plans include evaluating actual-sized components to compare pristine, damaged, and repaired parts for strength and technical worthiness. 

Our grant-funded research project represents a significant step towards advancing aerospace repair techniques within a circular manufacturing framework. Embracing innovative technologies and collaborative partnerships, we aim to add value to the aerospace maintenance landscape, promoting efficiency, and longevity in aerospace manufacturing practices. This study offers valuable insights for further advancements in aerospace repair methodologies and their impact on industry circularity. 

About the project

The project “Studies on the development of composite repair techniques through additive manufacturing for aerospace parts using circular manufacturing strategies” was led by doctoral student Arjun Chandra Shekar, under the supervision of Lucas Hof, professor at ETS, and Redouane Zitoune, professor at Université Paul Sabatier, in collaboration with Benjamin Trarieux from Airbus. 

The RRECQ is supported by the Fonds de recherche du Québec.
Fonds de recherche - Québec