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3rd April 2019, Hamburg

Sabic thermoplastics at forefront of aircraft manufacturing

Sabic is featuring a thermoforming tool for an aircraft interior panel, printed on a Thermwood LSAM machine using LNP Thermocomp AM EC004XXAR1 compound. © Sabic

Sabic is featuring a thermoforming tool for an aircraft interior panel, printed on a Thermwood LSAM machine using LNP Thermocomp AM EC004XXAR1 compound. © Sabic

Sabic is showcasing its comprehensive range of advanced materials to meet the modern-day needs of airlines at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg this week. These will focus on Sabic’s innovative, high-performance thermoplastic offerings as key constituents for novel composite materials, including resin, sheet, film, filament and foam.

These thermoplastic solutions are designed to enable the production of high strength aircraft regulatory compliant, lightweight parts to aid not only fuel efficiency and component longevity, but to allow greater design freedom. The highly versatile materials are also fully compliant with all stringent international flame, smoke and toxicity regulations.

“Sabic has long played a leading role in creating ground-breaking new materials for a wide range of industries,” said Paul DiSciullo, Global Segment Leader, Mass Transportation, Sabic. “As air travel continues along its ever more competitive journey, many customers are seeking design and manufacturing solutions which enable them to not only reduce costs in manufacturing and fuel consumption, but to offer passengers inflight experiences which evoke a more golden age of travel – through more comfort, more luxury, more options for personalisation.”

Gaining competitive advantages

Airlines are seeking competitive advantages to be gained from the enhanced inflight experience - particularly in the form of increased cabin comfort – both in premium and economy classes. Additionally, airlines are looking to capitalize on product differentiation through strong branding and distinctive interior design.

LNP Thermocomp AM EC004XXAR1 compound is based on Ultem resin with 20% carbon fibre reinforcement. © Sabic

LNP Thermocomp AM EC004XXAR1 compound is based on Ultem resin with 20% carbon fibre reinforcement. © Sabic

From an operational perspective, the lightweighting of aircraft components continues to be an important enabler in allowing airlines to minimise costs and reduce maintenance and refurbishment cycles, while maintaining the highest levels of safety excellence, design flexibility and improved passenger experience. Advanced thermoplastic composites are now an important solution for such applications.

“Sabic is at the vanguard of development of innovative material technologies and manufacturing processes to support the aircraft interiors industry,” said Peter Mintjens, Business Development Manager, Sabic. “We have engaged the most forward-thinking and exceptional talent to develop our most advanced and versatile offerings which we will be highlighting at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo.”

Enhanced component longevity

In addition to their contribution to aircraft safety and performance, Sabic’s innovative materials, including the Ultem thermoplastic resin and foam, are imbued with properties that typically enhance component longevity, the company reports. The company’s Ultem resin and foam have low moisture absorption, preventing mould and fungus growth; chemical resistance to mitigate damage and marking to interior parts; and retention of mechanical characteristics at both elevated and cold temperatures.

Lexan Light F6L306 sheet. © Sabic

Lexan Light F6L306 sheet. © Sabic

Sabic’s high performance Lexan Light sheet, the lightest thermoplastic sheet option currently available, typically delivers up to 40% in weight savings when replacing traditional polyvinyl chloride and acrylic blend-based sheet products (PVC/PMMA), according to the manufacturer. It can be used in a wide range of applications, from seating parts, cockpit dashboard enclosures and partitions, to luggage compartments and service trolleys and self-service refreshment stations.

www.sabic.com

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