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Aerospace Materials


carbon fiber material in usable form. Tere is a great interest in returning the reclaimed material to the cabin. Phenolic resins are the current resin system of choice for


interiors applications and will continue their strong presence in the future. Termoplastics will play a significant role in displacing metals in new aircraſt cabins and might also begin to displace phenolics in some composite applications. Te new-build market represents about 6 million lb (2722


t) of composite components annually for the new aircraſt scheduled for delivery between 2013 and 2023. By the time the Airbus A350 and Bombardier CSeries enter full-rate produc- tion, the OEM market could grow by at least 50% compared to 2012. Prepreg material requirements for commercial aircraſt interiors will more than double in the carbon fiber and aramid fiber categories, and the carbon fiber/glass fiber gap will nar- row during the forecast period.


Switching to composite seats can save from 400 to 450 kg


on a single-aisle aircraſt. Composite materials can also be used to produce a thinner seat, reducing the thickness by as much as 2" (50.8 mm). With the current spacing in the coach cabin, thinner seats mean that on average, a new row can be added every 18 rows without any weight penalty. Composite seat designers such as Recaro (Schwaebisch Hall,


Germany) and ZIM Flugsitz (Markdorf, Germany) have found that composite materials provide better passenger comfort through ergonomic design. Conformal seating and integrated electronics also add to the composite seats’ aesthetic appeal. Seat designers are beginning to design seats with high-strength composites in mind that have resulted in a significant departure from stale seat designs populating today’s airplane. High-concept seat designs are being developed based on


the idea of active seating to enhance the appeal, comfort and functionality of seats. Ludekedesign (Zurich, Switzerland) designed and manufactured a seat with a trademarked aeras knit cover on a carbon fiber shell. Te recline is built into the fabric, eliminating the need for a mechanical recline. Te Ludekedesign seat concept is still in the development stage, but offers insight into the effort of OEMs to provide better customer comfort and aesthetic appeal while reducing airplane weight and adding revenue producing seats. The manufacturing potential over the


The potential for the recycling retired components made of composites is great and growing.


In addition to new aircraſt, the aſtermarket interiors seg-


ment will make a significant contribution to growth in the use of composites on commercial aircraſt during the same forecast period, according to Composites Forecasts and Consulting LLC. Aſtermarket potential is driven by replacement cycles and


economic conditions. Generally, passenger seating is replaced every one to two years. Paneling, class dividers and other major components are turned over every four years. Complete cabin refurbishments take place every six to eight years. Te replacement and refurbishment effort incentivizes


interior component producers by the continuous demand for their products during and aſter a plane is delivered.


Opportunities Seats represent one of the biggest near-term opportunities.


New and replacement seating has the potential to consume 4 million–5 million lb (1814–2268 t) of composites within the next five years.


144 Aerospace & Defense Manufacturing 2013


next decade for seats based on projected airplanes entering the market is approxi- mately 10,230,000 units. The production number is based on new aircraft require- ments and a two-year cycle of seat re- placement. It does not include the market


potential for refurbishment of seats currently in operation with the airline fleets. Other potential areas for composites growth include service


carts, brackets, trays and clips, cockpit flooring and seat rails. Galley carts are a strong candidate for the application of


high-strength composites. It is surprising to note the quanti- ties that an average airplane requires on the plane and in the supply chain. Te general rule is an average of from 80 to 100 for each plane with three to four carts on the ground for every cart flying. Te cart supply process includes removal, trans- port, refurbishment, repair, restock, and staging for redelivery. Te advantages of high-strength composite galley carts are


longer life due to their impact resistance and reduced weight that contributes to fewer crew, passenger, and service person- nel injuries. Tey also reduce maintenance costs by reducing spare parts inventory due to fewer parts and molded screws and increased durability. Teir flexible, sturdy composite con- struction results in excellent shock-absorbent properties, en-


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