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27th April 2018, Woodbridge

Electrified for aircraft interiors

UK cabling specialist Rockford is partnering with French composites manufacturer Equip’Aero Technique to electrify composites for use in aircraft interiors.

The companies believe their new electrified composite solution, based on woven cable technology and curved foam sandwich composites, will provide a competitive advantage in terms of strength, compact design, hidden cables, reduced envelope space and versatility.

Rockford owns a unique woven cable technology. © Rockford

Rockford owns a unique woven cable technology with which it has developed a low-profile, incredibly strong and highly flexible complex cable assembly.

“There is only one other company in the UK that can weave cables and their machine is incapable of designing the range of materials we can manufacture,” says Mike Molland, manager of Rockford’s plant in Salisbury. “These can be based on Kevlar, Nomex, PEEK, nylon and polyester, allowing our customers to use smaller and lighter wires, since the tensile strength is provided by the woven material. Our cable fabrics are extremely flat, highly flexible and strong enough for very demanding applications, such as motorsport and defence.”

Equip’Aero Technique has developed a new foam sandwich solution which allows complex curved composites to be produced and opens up new possibilities for composite applications.

“The traditional Nomex honeycomb sandwich panel gives you an unstable core and therefore limits the options for embedding things such as cables,” says Phil Curnock of the company’s UK agent Aescom. “The new foam sandwich method developed by Equip’Aero Technique will facilitate the electrification of composites.”

The first product resulting from the partnership, an electrified seat tray, was showcased at this month’s Aircraft Interiors Exhibition in Hamburg.

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