Re-design Of Commercial Aircraft Interior Components Incorporating Sustainable FR308 Composites

SHD recently supplied established aircraft interior company Percival Aviation with FR308 – a novel
bio-based, fully FST compliant resin system for use in aircraft and rail interior applications. The highly
sustainable product, initially derived from a waste product of cane sugar production, ultimately
finding applications on Boeing and Airbus aircraft.

In an initial program, 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 phenolic prepreg. Utilising the resin
increased the durability of the new OHB 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.

FR308 reinforced with 300gsm glass fibre is environmentally, and health and safety friendly in
comparison to alternative products. There are no hazardous chemicals, the product is formaldehyde
and phenol free, and no organic solvents are used in the manufacturing process. As FR308 is bio-based and sustainably sourced, it can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the aircraft versus
phenolic prepregs.

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.”