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.
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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.
Nice share Ann. These look promising. Finally i can be confident that the materials won't try to kill me if something goes wrong! I also read about the concept of PaperClip Armrest and Caterpillar Seats designed by James Lee. These looked quite unique to me specially the PaperClip Armrest; it would definitely settle the scuffle over armrests in aircrafts.
Thanks, Lou, that's a really good point about the lack of danger, in addition to the well-known lighter weight. I tend not to think of those times (my fear of flying remains well-controlled as long as things aren't too bumpy), but if I'm getting tossed around during turbulence or worse, I'd rather be hit by softer materials instead of deadly sharp metal shards.
Ann, another advantage of these types of materials is that they are safer and more forgiving in this type of application. In an aircraft, if something goes wrong, you want materials that are nice, but that won't hurt you when you run into them. Being light weight as well is important for the efficiency of the craft.
While I found all of these plastics and applications interesting and worthy of sharing with readers, I was especially impressed by the recyclable Victrex PEEK composite manufactured by Tri-Mack. Materials development done by companies that use those same materials makes a lot of sense to me. The word "innovation" is over-used today, but I think this is a good example of what it really means.
A self-propelled robot developed by a team of researchers headed by MIT promises to detect leaks quickly and accurately in gas pipelines, eliminating the likelihood of dangerous explosions. The robot may also be useful in water and petroleum pipe leak detection.
Aerojet Rocketdyne has built and successfully hot-fire tested an entire 3D-printed rocket engine. In other news, NASA's 3D-printed rocket engine injectors survived tests generating a record 20,000 pounds of thrust. Some performed equally well or better than welded parts.
Researchers at MIT's d'Arbeloff Laboratory are developing shoulder- and hip-mounted robotic arms to help workers in aircraft manufacturing perform difficult or complex assembly tasks that would normally require two people.
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