SABIC Innovative Plastics (Pittsfield, Mass.) has launched new Ultem polyetherimide (PEI) foam. Targeted to core applications in composite sandwich structures used to fabricate luggage stowage bins, galleys and lower wall panels, the foam is said to be 10 to 20 times lighter than traditional plastic components used in aircraft interior applications. Inherently flame retardant and reportedly compliant with all aircraft flame/smoke/toxicity (FST) regulations, the foam tests to Ohio State University (OSU) heat release levels of less than 55/55. The material is supplied in three densities — 60 kg/cu-m (3.8 lb/cu-ft), 80 kg/cu-m (5 lb/cu-ft) and 110 kg/cu-m (6.9 lb/cu-ft) — in the form of foam board that can be machined and thermoformed and/or used in vacuum bag/autoclave/oven and compression molding processes. The product has low moisture absorption, which could eliminate the need for edge filling in some interior structures, reducing labor, cost and weight. Additional advantages include favorable dielectric, thermal and acoustic properties, including a noise-reduction coefficient greater than 0.3.