CAMX 2014 preview: Solvay

Solvay Specialty Polymers (Alpharetta, Ga., USA) will will introduce Radel PPSU foam, said to be the industry’s first thermoformable polyphenylsulfone (PPSU) foam for insulative and structural components used in aircraft interiors.

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Solvay Specialty Polymers (Alpharetta, Ga., USA) will will introduce Radel PPSU foam, said to be the industry’s first thermoformable polyphenylsulfone (PPSU) foam for insulative and structural components used in aircraft interiors. Positioned as an alternative core material to honeycomb, Radel PPSU foam reportedly lends itself to high productivity manufacturing of sandwich structures with consistent quality at attractive economics. High-performance PPSU foam is based on Solvay’s Radel PPSU, a super-tough thermoplastic resin used for more than 20 years in structural and decorative aircraft interior applications. Radel PPSU foam is used in commercial applications in the Airbus A350 XWB aircraft.

For cores and ducting, Solvay will also highlight Solef PVDF foam, which can be molded into complex 3-D shapes that offer excellent flame/smoke/toxicity (FST) performance, toughness, resiliency, excellent resistance to aerospace fluids, and mechanical properties to 120°C/248°F. Solef 3-D molded foam also permits the production of parts with zero scrap and eliminates the need for interior insulation.

Solvay will discuss the use of Ajedium Films made from fluoropolymers, engineering polymers, and high-performance polymers for production of thermal acoustic insulation blankets. Films made using ethylene chlorotrifluoroethylene (ECTFE), polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), polyetheretherketone (PEEK), and polyaryletherketone (PAEK) provide uniform release from composites and other substrates under pressure, heat or other demanding conditions. Lightweight Halar ECTFE film is used in the Solar Impulse solar-powered airplane to weather-proof photovoltaic cells without compromising light transmission.

Rounding out Solvay’s offering for composites are a range of thermoplastic resins including KetaSpire PEEK, which combines good chemical resistance and long-term thermal and mechanical stability with strength, stiffness and fatigue resistance. AvaSpire PAEK, a family of polymers tailored to provide new and unique combinations of thermal, mechanical, and chemical performance while exhibiting superior processing characteristics compared to PEKKEK and PEK. Through fiber loading and mixed composite/overmolding techniques, Solvay’s KetaSpire PEEK and AvaSpire PAEK compounds reportedly push short fiber solutions ever closer to composites while ensuring simpler processing and cost savings. Typical applications are fixtures and clips. 

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