Composites manufacturer SHD has supplied Percival Aviation with FR308, a bio-based and FST compliant resin system for use in aircraft and rail interior applications.
The product, initially derived from a waste product of cane sugar production has found applications on Boeing and Airbus aircraft.
In an initial programme, the end customer needed to extend the storage capability of overhead bins on their Boeing 757 aircraft. Percival Aviation created a solution that allows passengers on the aircraft to stow their luggage lengthways, instead of width-ways, and so enables more passengers to put their bag in an overhead bin.
The resin was tested for full conformance with aircraft interiors standards and was used in the overhead bin doors to replace a traditional fossil fuel derived material. Utilising the resin increased the durability of the new overhead bin doors. The improved surface finish of FR308 reduced the need for filling and re-work, reducing both the weight of the part and the cost of manufacture.
This was the first time FR308 had been used in a commercial passenger aircraft, marking an important milestone in the development of the material. Subsequently, through their EASA-certified design (Part 21J), production (Part 21G) and EASA Part 145 capabilities, Percival Aviation has used FR308 for the manufacture of a wash basin door of an Airbus A320 aircraft.
Ian Leece, operations manager at Percival Aviation commented: “the team at SHD were easy to work with and provided a suitable solution at a reasonable price. As the FR308 is a renewable bio resin system, it helps keep in line with our company environmental policy. Overall we were very impressed with the product and will return for future projects.”