National Nonwovens and SABIC collaborate on FR aircraft seat cover

By David Stevenson  Thu Nov 8 2012, 10:39 AM
National Nonwovens, a US manufacturer of nonwoven materials, has developed the first fire blocker for all aircraft seating dress covers in collaboration with SABIC’s (Saudi Basic Industries Corporation) Innovative Plastics.
Marketed and sold under the Ultra-Protechtor fire blocker brand, National Nonwovens was able to create this revolutionary technology by upgrading from aramid to high-performance fibre made from SABIC’s flame-retardant ULTEM resin, a polyetherimide (PEI) material.
Anthony Centofanti, CEO and president of National Nonwovens, said: “The SABIC team provided support to enable us to develop our new Ultra-Protechtor fire blocker.
“This, combined with the outstanding performance of ULTEM fibre, allowed National Nonwovens to easily upgrade from aramid to create a truly high-end product that meets growing industry safety demands and provides aircraft manufacturers with an exceptional fire blocker technology.”
ULTEM fibre is based on the SABIC’s world-leading ULTEM resin, which delivers high heat resistance together with high flow, high ductility and strength to meet tough environmental conditions.
The material, which meets the requirements of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) FAR 25.853 regulations, features inherent flame resistant features without additives or fillers that can give off volatile organic compounds (VOCs). It can also be used with leather, synthetic leather and woven fabrics, according to the firms.
National Nonwovens said it gained key property improvements using ULTEM resin for its new Ultra-Protechtor fire blocker, including higher limited oxygen index (LOI) and lower heat release for safety, and low specific gravity and reduced moisture absorption for lighter weight solutions – reducing fuel consumption – which continues to be a main focus to the aerospace industry.
David Wildgoose, general manager of engineering resins at SABIC Innovative Plastics, added: “Whether it’s in the form of a resin, fibre or foam, aerospace grades of ULTEM resin have become a clear solution of choice for the most demanding applications.
“By moving to ULTEM fibres, National Nonwovens has created a new fire blocker technology that meets virtually all OEM seating specifications, sets a higher standard for flame-smoke-toxicity properties and ultimately will help to provide a safer travel environment in commercial and business aircraft worldwide.”



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