In advance of new Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) fuselage “burn-through” barrier requirements, polyaryletherketone (PEEK) supplier Victrex (www.aptivfilms.com) has seen its APTIV PEEK-based film used in new lightweight thermal acoustic blanket (TAB) insulation systems. The standards, which are required for all new aircraft manufactured after Sept. 1, entail radiant panel testing and mandate improved resistance to flame propagation for thermal and acoustic insulation blankets. Victrex says its APTIV films can be laminated to specialized burn-through barrier systems that meet the FAA FAR 25.856(b) standard for a complete system.
In the past, insulation systems traditionally consisted of fiberglass batting encapsulated in a plastic pillowcase covering, where standard thermal acoustic insulation must slow the fire propagation in lower-intensity thermal environments. The updated FAA requirement now specifies that insulation surrounding the cargo bay must also be resistant to “burn-through” in an intense thermal environment like that of a fuel-fed fire.
In addition to thermal performance, Victrex says its APTIV film offers weight savings since it can be extruded at a thickness of 6 µm (micron) compared to existing 12-µm PVF insulation systems. APTIV film also has lower specific gravity (1.26) compared to PVF film (1.38-1.72) for an end product that is more than 50% lighter.
In aircraft interiors, Boltaron Performance Products LLC (Long Beach, CA) has collaborated with SABIC Innovative Plastics (Pittsfield, MA) to develop Lexan XHR6000 sheet, under the brand Boltaron 9915 FSTH, which can be used in aircraft interior components that must comply with flame, smoke, and toxicity (FST) requirements, as well as the Ohio State University (OSU) 65/65 standard. Metallic, wood-grain, pearlescent, and carbon-look decorative effects and textures are available. Instead of standard sheet extrusion, which can make some affects difficult to achieve, Boltaron uses a lamination process that it says makes it possible to offer special finishes economically and in small batches. Applications could include seating, cockpit linings, window surrounds, door shrouds, and other interior components.