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Brady Deacon
By Brady Deacon
Friday, July 26, 2013 - 15:39

Earlier this month we discussed the Asian Flight 214 crash and Plastics Today’s article about the role plastics have playing in improving survival rates of impact-survivable plane crashes. In the last two decades, there has been much focus on improving flame resistance of aircraft interiors. The regulatory requirements for many aerospace parts produced by Elite Plastics can be found under the Department of Transportation’s / FAA Title 14 (Aeronautics and Aerospace) Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

Section 25 of the CFR deals specifically with the entire range of airworthiness standards for commercial transport category aircrafts. Within section 25, subsection 25.853 outlines the following compartment interior design and flammability requirements:

  • Specimen burn tests: Vertical test, horizontal test, 45° test, and 60° test.
  • Burn chambers must be draft free and cabinet used must comply with the following standards:
  • Federal Test Method Standard 191 Method 5902 for the vertical test
  • Method 5906 for horizontal testDepending on location in the aircraft some must also undergo OSU heat release testing
  • Depending on location in the aircraft some must also undergo OSU heat release testing

So what do these regulations mean to Elite Plastics projects? For example, materials used in the manufacture of interior components, like seat row marker coupons which reside in an area of an aircraft have 20 more passengers, must meet the following flammability criteria for full product conformance.

After vertical exposure to a flame source, typically a gas burner in a closed chamber):

  • Burn length may not exceed 6 inches
  • Average flame time may not exceed 15 seconds
  • The material drippings may not burn for more than 5 seconds

Materials used to manufacture cargo baggage liners and panels must also be subjected to a 45 degree burn test where the flame must not penetrate through the material during application or after removal. Flame time must also not exceed 15 seconds and glow time of material drippings may not exceed 10 seconds.

Improvements in plastic technologies have made it possible for aircraft interiors to be increasingly flame resistant. The FAA CFR outlines the requirements to ensure aircraft interiors are fireproof and safe as possible, in the case that a crash does occur.

For a full list of flammability classes and requirements visit the CFR reference appendix F.