Flammability of mouldings for Aircraft Interiors
Posted on 31/01/2013 Category: Technical Features
We have recently been working on a number of projects where specific performance in terms of Flammability is required, due to the stringent certification required for products that are used on aircraft. Since we manufacture both Polyurethane Foam and Rubber mouldings, in either rigid or flexible materials, there is a huge range of possible solutions for any given problem. However, the common theme is Flammability performance and we have done a lot of work establishing suitable materials grades to conform with Tier 1 manufacturer standards for customers such as Airbus and Boeing. Essentially there are two global standards that are applied; the US standard Federal Airways Regulation (FAR) and the European standard (JAR). The FAR part 25 appendix F lays down test methods for all materials used in the pressurised cabin of an aircraft, and the JAR standard is generally in line with this. The major aircraft builders then have their own standards which essentially conform to the FAR or JAR specification, but enable variations that the manufacturers feel relevant to their specific requirements. Boeing call their internal standards BSS (Boeing Safety Standard) and Airbus refer to theirs as ABD0031.
Silicone rubber grades
We have developed Silicone rubber grades that conform to FAR/JAR CS25.853(a) Appendix F part 1 (A) 1(i) vertical burn requirements and ABD0031 Smoke Emission for example, and we have Polyurethane Foam systems that meet CS 25.853a Appendix F part 1 (A) 1(ii) for products that we supply for aircraft interiors. We have also developed a special grade of Vamac for a specific customer application where other material options proved unsuitable. These materials are finding many applications on the interior fitments for the new generations of airliners coming into service over the next few years, and, as ever, operators want even lighter, longer lasting components to reduce the service life costs of their investment, and therefore reduced costs per passenger mile.
Working in partnership
Customers in this field have high expectations and naturally our products not only have to perform their intended functions, but often they are in premium passenger areas and the look and feel of the parts are critical to the impact of our customers designs. By working in partnership with our customers at the design stage, we have been able to help with product design and manufacturing improvements that are in turn allowing our customers to achieve their aims in this challenging marketplace.