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Collaboration opens new perspectives for closed-cell, crosslinked foams in weight reduction and noise and vibration management for aircraft cabin interiors.

Posted by Staff

July 3, 2023

2 Min Read
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Solvay and Zotefoams representatives at the signing event.Image courtesy of Solvay

Polymer and composite materials producer Solvay has signed a long-term agreement for the supply of Solef polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) to Zotefoams, the world’s largest manufacturer of lightweight cross-linked polyolefin block foams and a specialist in innovative technical foams. Solef will be used to produce Zotefoams’ Zotek F high-performance closed-cell, crosslinked aerospace foam range.

The collaboration will target a range of interior applications in aerospace including ducting, carpet underlay, environmental control systems, and insulation, where low weight, high flame retardancy, and cost-effective processability are paramount.

“This agreement marks the starting point of a collaborative partnership toward supply security, quality, and innovation,” said Marc Doyle, executive vice president for Aerospace & Defense, Solvay Materials Business. “It opens exciting new perspectives for weight reduction as well as noise and vibration management for interior components thanks to Solef PVDF, extending the reach of our polymers into yet another demanding market segment. We are excited to partner with Zotefoams in helping the aircraft industry achieve its ambitious environmental and sustainability targets.”

Solef PVDF is inherently flame retardant and combines a high degree of purity with robust mechanical properties, electrochemical stability, and broad chemical resistance at high temperatures. The specialty polymer already has a history of proven success in various markets including fast growing lithium-ion batteries for automotive. Formed into lightweight, closed-cell, cross-linked foam, it can provide weight savings of up to 70% in aircraft interiors while meeting the strictest aerospace standards.

“PVDF foam is the ideal material for a multitude of applications in air- and spacecraft interiors, and we are delighted that this agreement gives security of supply for our customers in unpredictable times,” commented James Bridges, director of High-Performance Products at Zotefoams. “As the commercial aviation sector strives to meet stringent carbon-reduction targets, the lightweighting capabilities of Zotek F are more in demand than ever, so the announcement of our partnership with Solvay could not be more timely.”

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