The Aircraft Interiors Expo 2014 show in Hamburg, Germany, last month gave many companies a chance to showcase their plastics for a variety of applications in aircraft interiors. Some introduced new materials. Others announced new applications or qualifications for their products.
Here, we tell you about new polymers and foams for aircraft interiors from Sabic and General Plastics. We also tell you about new applications for their materials that BASF and Victrex announced at the show, as well as the materials that all of these companies, in addition to Solvay and Rogers, showcased.
Click on the image below to start the slideshow.
BASF demonstrated its RELEST Air Windur Cool Coating system at the Aircraft Interiors Expo 2014. The system consists of an infrared Reflective Primer combined with an IR Management Topcoat. This heat-reflective coating technology has optimized spectral behaviors that make it possible to formulate dark colors that reduce the effects of heat in sunlight. The company also exhibited samples of a load-bearing floor created using its Baxxodur latent cure infusion epoxy system that is 40% lighter than existing aluminum load floors. It can support a 4,200 psi compressive load and is formulated to meet FAR 24.853 fire requirements.
Yes, I meant the Total Transformation stage, when both seats are flipped over to provide a sleeping surface, also called a "private suite" as you mention. Assuming the diagram is to scale, the diagonal on the flat surface shown doesn't look much more than about 2 seat widths plus a small fraction, which isn't very long at all for someone my height. 77 in tip to tip sounds good until you realize that at least 12 in of that isn't utilizable because it's too narrow at the points for head and feet. That gets you to 65 inches max, which is 5 feet and 5 inches, not long enough for most tall people. I think the main problem is that seat widths and legroom have simply shrunk beyond reasonable levels of comfort for anyone over 5 feet. I've watched this gradually change over the last few decades, so it's not easily noticeable. That said, I agree that this is better than what we usually get in coach, assuming the overall dimensions are more generous than what we have now, and I like the adjustable options. I noticed, though, that the award was won for Premium Class & VIP, which is not how most of us travel.
Very right Ann. I guess you are talking about the Metamorphosis stage as mentioned in the link shared; the best case scenario of Caterpillar Seats is Total Transformation which gives ample space as it converts the seats to a private suite type arrangement. Being a tall person myself, i also had the concern you have but then i thought about how much space the present airlines give us and comparatively this looks much better with its adjustable features and good space utilization.
Thanks for the link, Danyal_Ali. I hadn't seen this one, either. The Caterpillar seat looks like a great idea. But as a tall woman (5' 9") who was once married to a very tall man (6' 7"), I'm a bit skeptical about how much actual diagonal length there is to sleep on when both Caterpillar seats are flipped over. It doesn't look like nearly enough room for someone my height, let alone a six-footer.
You are right Ann. There are a lot of different designs in the market, which is also a good thing as one can choose the best from the lot. Here is the link to the Caterpillar Convertible Seats that i was talking about.
This design won the Crystal Cabin Award too. You must have seen it already.
Danyal_Ali, you're welcome. And thanks for the name of the PaperClip Armrest. Although the photos make it clear that people using the same armrest would have more body contact than some would prefer with a stranger. That's too cozy for me. I think the best solution is slightly wider armrests, without necessarily increasing total seat depth from window to aisle. I found a lot of different seats called "Caterpillar." Can you give us the link to the one you mean?
far911, you sound a bit skeptical, and understandably so. Many people have already experienced the wrong plastics spec'ed for their cars and have had problems with materials fading & cracking from UV exposure, or simply not holding up in terms of strength and longevity. Commercial aircraft are even more carefully regulated, though, so I think these will most likely be correctly specified.
An MIT research team has invented what they see as a solution to the need for biodegradable 3D-printable materials made from something besides petroleum-based sources: a water-based robotic additive extrusion method that makes objects from biodegradable hydrogel composites.
Alcoa has unveiled a new manufacturing and materials technology for making aluminum sheet, aimed especially at automotive, industrial, and packaging applications. If all its claims are true, this is a major breakthrough, and may convince more automotive engineers to use aluminum.
NASA has just installed a giant robot to help in its research on composite aerospace materials, like those used for the Orion spacecraft. The agency wants to shave the time it takes to get composites through design, test, and manufacturing stages.
The European Space Agency (ESA) is working with architects Foster + Partners to test the possibility of using lunar regolith, or moon rocks, and 3D printing to make structures for use on the moon. A new video shows some cool animations of a hypothetical lunar mission that carries out this vision.
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