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Aircraft manufacturers now have a new polymer choice for use in thermal acoustic insulation blanket (TAIB) cover film as an alternative to more costly PEEK (polyetheretherketone) and Tedlar polyvinyl fluoride (PVF), which has been in short supply.

January 3, 2012

9 Min Read
Ajedium responds to Tedlar film shortage

Aircraft manufacturers now have a new polymer choice for use in thermal acoustic insulation blanket (TAIB) cover film as an alternative to more costly PEEK (polyetheretherketone) and Tedlar polyvinyl fluoride (PVF), which has been in short supply.

Chase-Facile's Insulfab 4000 thermal acoustic insulation blanket made with Halar ECTFE (ethylene chlorotrifluoroethylene) cover film from Ajedium Films has been qualified to meet Boeing BMS 8-377 for both Class 00 and Class 1 Types I & II and has been officially added to the Boeing Qualified Products List.

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Eight-micron thick ECTFE film is extruded on a 72-inch wide die at Ajedium.

Ajedium Films is a division of Solvay Solexis, Inc., a Solvay Specialty Polymers company

This qualification allows Insulfab 4000 to be used as a drop-in replacement for the Tedlar cover film.

This new product consists of a lamination of film made from Halar ECTFE (a 1:1 alternating copolymer of ethylene and chlorotrifluoroethylene), nylon fabric, and a proprietary adhesive.

Resists fire spread

Insulfab 4000 insulation film provides resistance to fire propagation in thermal acoustic insulation required by FAR 25.856(a). Halar ECTFE film is also used in flame barrier material designed to meet the requirements of FAR 856(b), which mandates resistance to flame penetration and heat release into the passenger compartment.

Thermal acoustic insulation blankets are typically installed behind airplane interior panels to protect passengers, cargo, and equipment from environmental conditions and engine noise.

The types of plastics used for these applications have been heavily regulated since investigators ruled that metallized polyester film used in a TAIB application was a factor in fatalities in a Swissair crash in 1998.

Ajedium Films played a role in qualifying ketone films as a replacement, but some aircraft design engineers have been seeking a less costly alternative. Meanwhile, another important alternate, Tedlar films produced by DuPont, have been in short supply because of skyrocketing demand for their use in photovoltaic cells.

DuPont has also restricted, or totally cut, supply of Tedlar for other applications, such as environmental testing bags, as well as it strives to boost capacity and meet demand from the photovoltaic industry.

Since 2006, DuPont has announced investments of $365 million in an effort to boost Tedlar capacity by 50%. These efforts include investment of $175 million to complete the multi-phase expansion of its high-performance PV2001 series oriented film production line at Circleville, OH.

Another alternative film for TAIB is PEKK (polyetherketoneketone), which Ajedium Films continues to supply. Victrex is a major supplier of PEEK films for aircraft insulation cover films. The Halar resin used by Ajedium comes from a Solvay Solexis plant in Orange, TX.

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