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Technical Note

Innovation in Aircraft Cabin Interior Panels. Part II: Technical Assessment on Replacing Glass Fiber with Thermoplastic Polymers and Panels Fabricated Using Vacuum Forming Process

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National Council for Science and Technology, Center for Engineering and Industrial Development (CONACYT–CIDESI), Carretera Estatal 200, km 23, Querétaro 76265, Mexico
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Center for Engineering and Industrial Development (CIDESI), Carretera Estatal 200, km 23, Querétaro 76265, Mexico
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Somen K. Bhudolia and Sunil Chandrakant Joshi
Polymers 2021, 13(19), 3258; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13193258
Received: 15 August 2021 / Revised: 8 September 2021 / Accepted: 9 September 2021 / Published: 24 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Thermoplastic Polymers and Composites)
The manufacturing process of the aircraft cabin interior panels is expensive and time-consuming, and the resulting panel requires rework due to damages that occurred during their fabrication. The aircraft interior panels must meet structural requirements; hence sandwich composites of a honeycomb core covered with two layers of pre-impregnated fiberglass skin are used. Flat sandwich composites are transformed into panels with complex shapes or geometries using the compression molding process, leading to advanced manufacturing challenges. Some aircraft interior panels are required for non-structural applications; hence sandwich composites can be substituted by cheaper alternative materials and transformed using disruptive manufacturing techniques. This paper evaluates the feasibility of replacing the honeycomb and fiberglass skin layers core with rigid polyurethane foams and thermoplastic polymers. The results show that the structural composites have higher mechanical performances than the proposed sandwich composites, but they are compatible with non-structural applications. Sandwich composite fabrication using the vacuum forming process is feasible for developing non-structural panels. This manufacturing technique is fast, easy, economical, and ecological as it uses recyclable materials. The vacuum forming also covers the entire panel, thus eliminating tapestries, paints, or finishes to the aircraft interior panels. The conclusion of the article describes the focus of future research. View Full-Text
Keywords: aircraft cabin interior panels; vacuum forming; non-structural composite panels; thermoplastic face sheets aircraft cabin interior panels; vacuum forming; non-structural composite panels; thermoplastic face sheets
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MDPI and ACS Style

Franco-Urquiza, E.A.; Alcántara Llanas, P.I.; Rentería-Rodríguez, V.; Saleme, R.S.; Ramírez Aguilar, R.; Zarate Pérez, C.; Torres-Arellano, M.; Piedra, S. Innovation in Aircraft Cabin Interior Panels. Part II: Technical Assessment on Replacing Glass Fiber with Thermoplastic Polymers and Panels Fabricated Using Vacuum Forming Process. Polymers 2021, 13, 3258. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13193258

AMA Style

Franco-Urquiza EA, Alcántara Llanas PI, Rentería-Rodríguez V, Saleme RS, Ramírez Aguilar R, Zarate Pérez C, Torres-Arellano M, Piedra S. Innovation in Aircraft Cabin Interior Panels. Part II: Technical Assessment on Replacing Glass Fiber with Thermoplastic Polymers and Panels Fabricated Using Vacuum Forming Process. Polymers. 2021; 13(19):3258. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13193258

Chicago/Turabian Style

Franco-Urquiza, Edgar Adrián, Perla Itzel Alcántara Llanas, Victoria Rentería-Rodríguez, Raúl Samir Saleme, Rodrigo Ramírez Aguilar, Cecilia Zarate Pérez, Mauricio Torres-Arellano, and Saúl Piedra. 2021. "Innovation in Aircraft Cabin Interior Panels. Part II: Technical Assessment on Replacing Glass Fiber with Thermoplastic Polymers and Panels Fabricated Using Vacuum Forming Process" Polymers 13, no. 19: 3258. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13193258

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