Leonardo for the development of innovative multi-material structure for the next generation of green aircraft

27 June 2023

With its participation in the MIMOSA (Multimaterial airframes based on 3D joints between AM metals and carbon-fiber composites) project, Leonardo confirms its commitment towards innovation and reduction of the carbon footprint. The project, funded by the European Union within the "Horizon Europe" programme, will lead over the next three years to the industrialisation of an innovative kind of aeronautic structure for new generation aircraft. 

The MIMOSA project aims to support the next generations of aircrafts, which will necessarily follow production criteria with reduced environmental impact and lower need for raw materials. The reduction of pollution and the use of harmful substances will be a precise project target, not only with regard to the flight, but also for the entire production chain of the aircraft and for its dismantling at the end of service.

MIMOSA will pioneer the application of circularity of materials and production by integrating the recycling, starting from the product and business ideation stage forward. The project suggests a new concept design for the joint, the regeneration of after-service materials, a reduction in weight (-51%), a reduction in lead time (-65%), and a reduction in the process' total environmental footprint.

The goal is to create multi-material joint structures using innovative concepts and take advantage of digital and hybrid processes to generate superior technological and financial outcomes than the existing traditional joints.

Central to the project the incorporation of recycling from the product and business ideation stage forward, paving the way for the circularity of materials and manufacturing. These ambitions will be achieved using novel technology and a competitive technique for multi-material joints between AlSi10Mg alloy for additive manufacturing (AM) and composites (CFRP, carbon fiber-reinforced polymers).

The industrial spin-offs of the project are expected to be far-reaching even for sectors very different from aeronautics, and many dissemination initiatives will be proposed toward the productive realities of the territories.

The company will also contribute to the technical and quality regulatory framework for the aerospace sector defining industrial production lines that satisfy the present and future safety and homologation requirements. The development of the project will be carried out through a collaboration between the Company’s Aerostructures Business area and the Leonardo Labs researchers.