IntAir to Display Innovative Prepregs on Bercella Stand at JEC

27 February 2018

IntAir will refine the materials and upscale the manufacturing process for a new generation of aircraft interior composites that are cheaper, lighter and safer than the toxic, carcinogenic materials that are currently used.

Composite materials are well-established for aircraft interior sidewalls, galleys, lockers and seating. To meet the strict fire and weight requirements for aircraft interiors, the current solution is to use a fire resistant composite made of phenolic resin with carbon or glass fibre reinforcement. However, there are 3 major problems with phenolics:

  • Cost: Phenolic parts have long moulding times and need several hours of manual finishing.
  • Weight: The poor surface finish means that filler is needed, adding to the component weight.
  • Safety: Phenolics emit toxic and carcinogenic materials during processing.

Most composite aircraft components are manufactured from prepreg, an intermediate material where the resin is pre-impregnated into a reinforcement fabric, for subsequent moulding into parts.

As a direct substitute for phenolic, IntAir focusses on a prepreg using polyfurfuryl alcohol (PFA), a bioresin derived from crop waste, which offers the improvements in each of the 3 areas:

  • Cost: A reduction in moulding cycle time, and a reduction in manual finishing, with the same raw material cost.
  • Weight: PFA can give an improved surface finish, reducing the use of filler and decreasing average component weight.
  • Safety: PFA prepregs are less toxic, less carcinogenic and have far lower VOC emissions, reducing health & safety concerns from the workplace.

The project will be be promoting these new offerings and showing several application demonstrators on the Bercella stand. For further information on the project, visit Composites Evolution at the show.

Visit Bercella in Hall 6, Stand N94 and Composites Evolution in Hall 6, Stand S72 at JEC World 2018.

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