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In the Making: Padded and Flexible Parts for Aircraft Interior Applications

Extending from the flight deck in the fore to lavatories in the aft, General Plastics’ flexible polyurethane foam parts play integral yet unsung roles in today’s aircraft. While few prompt even a second thought from passengers, our build-to-print flight deck  and passenger cabin molded parts have been required  in the aircraft interior design engineers’ specifications for more than four decades.

Within the flight deck, our parts (incorporating metallic hardware as warranted) provide durable padding in such applications as heads-up display covers, headliners, post pads, kick strips and assist handle covers. General Plastics also fabricates and machines a wide array of other high-quality, custom-molded parts from our unique formulations to fulfill airframe manufacturers’ exacting requirements. Within the passenger cabin, we produce parts for walls and ceilings, class dividers, overhead stow bins, food-service galleys and lavatories.

In this blog post, we’ll highlight three particular interior applications as part of our parts and sheet stock programs.

Armrest pads

Our custom-molded armrest pads, which could be used in the flight deck and passenger cabin, are produced from our LAST-A-FOAM® WSF-1121 Impact Energy Absorption high-density flexible foam. This integral-skin, open-cell polyurethane foam system offers numerous advantages:

  • Safety – The foam is flame-retardant and self-extinguishing.
  • Parts are molded to each customer’s exact specifications.
  • Its toughness delivers tremendous durability and impact-absorbing padding.
  • Because the foam is self-skinning, parts come out of the mold with the desired texture, in the specified color and painted for a long-lasting finish, so there’s no need for the added step and expense of adding a protective material.

As with any build-to-print program, our team is ready to help you solve challenges and support your efforts from part and tool design to mold tooling, and every step in parts production. Where appropriate, we are also best-positioned to custom-formulate foam systems in order to supply parts with the precise physical properties and attributes you need.

Click below to watch how our armrest pads are made.

 

Foam-Comb

General Plastics’ Foam-Comb is a lightweight honeycomb-urethane gap filler used in aerospace and aviation interior fabrications. This open-cell polyurethane product couples our flexible foam with Nomex® honeycomb material, where the resulting material – the Foam-Comb – is stronger than the honeycomb, but adds little weight. It also provides a flexible cushion between panels that repeatedly expand and contract, reducing vibration and maintaining a seal between the surfaces.. These qualities make it particularly useful within the passenger cabin and in other areas where noise reduction is desirable. Typical aviation gap filler applications include:

  • Overhead storage bins
  • Passenger cabin dividers
  • Overhead stow bins
  • Galleys
  • Lavatories

Click below to watch how our foam-comb materials are made.

 

Heads-up Display Cover

Another molded part General Plastics produces are the heads-up display covers located in the flight deck. Produced from the same WSF-1121 flexible foam as our molded armrests pads, these covers hold the dual heads-up display and the overhead panel, which houses various electronics that control systems throughout the plane. Due to the foam’s self-skinning characteristic, designers have artistic freedom in the desired texture and color.  The parts are ready for their final paint coating right out of the mold.

Click below to see how our heads-up display covers are used in the flight deck.

 

Assurance through certification

General Plastics’ customers depend on the highest quality materials and parts. Our quality assurance program and its products conform to numerous aerospace and defense industry requirements and rigorous quality systems. These include:

  • Boeing Company D6-82479
  • MIL-I-45208A
  • BMS 8-133 – Flame-Retardant Rigid Urethane Foams (core materials)
  • BMS 8-350 – Integral Skinning Flexible Urethane Foam and Paint for Molded Products
  • BMS 8-39 – Flexible Urethane Foams

We are certified to ISO 9001:2008/AS9100C and ITAR-compliant, with a segregated, controlled-access ITAR assembly room for military parts.