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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most of the new 3D printers and 3D printing technologies in this crop are breaking some boundaries, whether it's build volume-per-dollar ratios, multimaterials printing techniques, or new materials types.
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