In a European Commission-funded project, thermoplastic honeycomb technology specialist EconCore and Diehl Aircabin have successfully developed “next-generation” solutions for aircraft interior modules.
The companies announced 7 Sept that they had envisaged a new “highly cost-effective” process for creating modules by thermoforming and functionalising mono-material sandwich panels in a single step.
The new development brings together EconCore’s honeycomb production technology with a special grade of polycarbonate that has outstanding fire-smoke-toxicity performance.
Test reports, said the Leuven, Belgium-based EconCore, have confirmed “excellent fire resistant behavior of the final sandwich structures, which cost “significantly less than aramid and other conventional honeycomb solutions.”
As part of the effort, the two firms have produced a prototype of an aircraft stowage unit which they intend to showcase during the Composites Europe 2017 exhibition in Stuttgart, Germany on 19-21 Sept.
During the four-year project dubbed InCom (Industrial Production Processes for Nanoreinforced Composite Structures) EconCore and Diehl Aircabin were supported by consortium partners from industry and academia.
The two concluded the project at the end of August and now plan to work together on an independent basis.
Diehl Aircabin is a division of Diehl Aerosystems specialising in cabin modules, crew rest compartments and air ducting,
“We are both looking forward to taking this development forward to create mono-material thermoplastic honeycomb sandwich panels that could be very efficiently one-shot thermoformed and functionalised into final aircraft interior modules,” said Tomasz Czarnecki, COO of EconCore commenting on the extension of partnership between EconCore and aerospace firm.