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NRC Aerospace goes green

0801_aeroNRC Aerospace has launched an ambitious new research direction to help the Canadian aerospace sector compete internationally on the basis of environmental responsibility.


March 27, 2008
By Carey Fredericks
 0801_aero
With the new Green Initiative, NRC researchers will tackle environmental issues such as aircraft noise and emissions.

March 27, 2008 – NRC
Aerospace has launched an ambitious new research direction to help the
Canadian aerospace sector compete internationally on the basis of
environmental responsibility.

The "Green Initiative" is the linchpin in
NRC's strategic plan for this sector.
Under this initiative, NRC Aerospace in
partnership with other NRC facilities will work on nanotube composite
materials, eco-friendly advanced coatings, alternative fuels, noise and
emissions reduction technologies, green manufacturing processes, and
other environmentally sustainable products and processes.

"In our
Aerospace Manufacturing Technology Centre in Montréal, for example,
we're looking for machining processes that use up to 90 per cent less
machining fluid as a way of reducing the industry's environmental
footprint," says NRC Aerospace Director General Jerzy Komorowski.

Why
go green? "For decades, safety, weight and cost have been the primary
concerns in the aerospace industry," he explains. "Now there's a fourth
driver — the environment — as the industry scrambles to meet imminent,
more stringent environmental regulations. At the Paris Air show in June
2007, the talk was all 'green' for the first time in aviation history."

According
to Komorowski, NRC laboratories are uniquely positioned to "rally
around" environmental issues, while continuing to help the aerospace
industry compete over safety, weight and cost concerns. "Biofuels
research is a good example of how almost every NRC institute can work
toward a high level goal that addresses big issues for society at
large," he says.

"For
example, marine and land-based plants are both considered potential
sources of biomass from which new aerospace fuels could be
manufactured," says Komorowski. "Our biology institutes can give a
competitive advantage to the people who will grow or harvest the
plants, while our biotechnology institute can help the people who will
transform these plants into fuel.

Our materials researchers can then
develop new coatings or materials and our engineers can come up with
new gas turbine engine designs."
"So at every level of the supply chain, NRC can help different
sectors of Canadian industry become more competitive," concludes
Komorowski. "Our ultimate goal, of course, is to help the aerospace
industry, which is so important to Canada."