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Climate-friendly aviation industry

15. January 2022 | Blog

Composite materials open up new concepts

According to DLR forecasts, passenger numbers in commercial aviation will rise from four billion in 2016 to 9.5 billion by 2040 - and with them CO2 emissions. The need for climate-friendly aircraft has never been more urgent. Novel composite materials are the key to this.


Global aviation currently accounts for around three percent of global CO2 emissions. It is obvious that this figure will rise significantly. This means that the industry needs to take action to protect the climate. Politicians have also recognized this and set various framework conditions. The European Union's "Fit for 55" climate protection package, for example, stipulates that greenhouse gases in the EU must be reduced by at least 55 percent by 2030 compared with 1990 emissions and that Europe must be climate-neutral by 2050. In the aviation sector, instruments such as a blending quota for alternative fuels, a kerosene tax and tighter emissions trading are intended to drive CO2 reduction forward.

New construction methods enable climate-neutral air transport

The instruments mentioned above make a contribution to climate-neutral aviation. However, particularly effective concepts start at an earlier stage. Commercial aviation is currently researching new propulsion technologies based on electric, hybrid and hydrogen solutions. Innovative designs are also enabling the construction of extremely energy-efficient aircraft and the optimal integration of these propulsion systems. Airbus is currently presenting a number of such concepts, such as a "flying wing". "flying wing", which is based on hydrogen propulsion and, due to its design, benefits from lower drag and increased lift. This significantly reduces fuel consumption.

Advantages of carbon fiber composite materials

The implementation of all these concepts requires new types of composite materials. Carbon fiber-reinforced composites play a special role here due to their valuable combination of properties. They are extremely lightweight and at the same time highly mechanically stable. Furthermore, they open up new possibilities in aircraft design, so that stakeholders from NRW
According to DLR forecasts, the number of passengers in commercial aviation will rise from four billion in 2016 to 9.5 billion by 2040 - and with them CO2 emissions. The need for climate-friendly aircraft has never been more urgent. Novel composite materials are the key to this.Issue 1 - 21. The new materials enable the best possible integration of drive systems and more efficient use of energy. In this way, complex components can be produced in a single step instead of combining individual components step by step.

Teijin - leading partner for aviation

Teijin is one of the leading partners for the aerospace industry in the development and manufacture of such products. The innovative composite materials manufactured at the Oberbruch site in North Rhine-Westphalia, such as Tenax™ Filament Yarn, Tenax™ ThermoPlastics and Tenax™ Dry Reinforcements have exceptionally good mechanical, electrical and thermal properties. Thanks to these advantages,TEIJIN products are used for a wide range of aerospace applications. From fuselage structures to parts of the wings and engines to the interior - the construction of a modern, CO2-efficient aircraft is unthinkable without composite materials from Teijin.

CO2 savings already in the production of composite materials

To reduce the carbon footprint of its lightweight materials, Teijin uses so-called LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) analyses. In this process, energy and material consumption energy and material consumption over the entire life cycle of a product. On this basis, TEIJIN pursues two approaches to CO2 reduction:

Green material for Tenax™ products

Crude oil is still required for the production of carbon fibers, which has an unfavorable impact on the carbon footprint of Tenax™ materials. TEIJIN is already working hard on a technical revolution: carbon fibers based on sustainable raw materials. The company continues to focus on upcycling and reuse, so that by-products, rejects and offcuts are put to good use. For example
TEIJIN has developed three different thermoplastic recycling solutions: Compound, Chips and Crushed. These are reinforced material combinations of recycled Tenax™ carbon fiber material and recycled partially crystalline polyetheretherketone (PEEK).

Use of green processes

The manufacture of any product requires energy, which generates CO2. In order to act in a climate-neutral manner, TEIJIN is pursuing two concepts. On the one hand, energy requirements are to be reduced through more efficient processes, and on the other hand, the focus is on the use of CO2-neutral energy sources. For example, together with the industrial park operator Veolia, TEIJIN uses production-related waste heat at its Heinsberg-Oberbruch site, thus saving around 1,500 tons of CO2 emissions every year.


Significant growth in commercial aviation on the one hand, the urgent need to reduce CO2 on the other: to protect mobility and climate protection in tomorrow's world, new concepts are already needed today. Sustainable composite materials from innovative companies like TEIJIN are therefore essential for the design and construction of climate-neutral aircraft.