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Guest Blogger
By Guest Blogger
Friday, July 19, 2013 - 15:29

GMN Aerospace recently posted about Plastics Today’s article, “How advance plastics saved lives on Asiana Flight 214,” which discusses the role of advanced plastics in plane crashes. The article examines how slower burning and less toxic plastics can improve survival in impact-survivable plane crashes.

The article points out that a major goal of the U.S. Aviation Safety Research Act, which was enacted in 1988, is to develop a fireproof cabin. According to the article, some of the improvements to cabin interiors include the use of "thermoplastics for thermoformed parts, thermosetting polymers for liners and composite panels, rubber for seat cushions, and fiber-forming polymers for textiles.”

At Elite Plastics we are growing our competencies in the aerospace market. Our current focus at Elite Plastics for Aerospace is our capabilities in interior fabrications: stowage bin assemblies, window bezels, seating brackets, etc. Interior part quality standards for most plastic injection molded parts and assemblies are primarily concerned with engineering drawing conformance, visual aesthetics, and uniformity and in some cases structural integrity. 

The majority of airline customers often notice but don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the quality and comfort of interiors inside the aircraft, when the experience is a good one. In addition, customers rarely recall flights where interiors were new, visually pleasing and quiet. Most customers quickly recall flights with interior parts that rattled, were damaged or needed replacement.  Thus, a customer’s experience and level of satisfaction with an airline can be highly driven by the interaction, whether positive or negative, that they have with their interior surroundings.   

Polymer based products have given design engineers in transportation and aerospace interiors tremendous mobility to design much lighter, visually appealing and complex components having comparable strength to metallic components.  However, when compared to metallic materials, polymer materials have definite limitations in terms of temperature and flammability.  In addition to quality standards mentioned for commercial aircraft interiors, the materials from which they are made must undergo extensive flammability testing.  Stayed tuned for an upcoming blog about interior aircraft flammability regulations and testing.

To learn more about fire-resistant material improvements and the Asiana Flight 214 crash read the article on the Plastics Today website