The company’s lightweight, rigid Ultem* polyetherimide (PEI) foam, used as the structural core in multi-layer systems for aviation interior components, won the Composites category. According to Aviation Week, winners “represent the best-in-class, potential game-changing innovations.” This achievement illustrates SABIC Innovative Plastics’ strong focus on partnering with aviation industry OEMs to help them succeed by meeting tough safety, regulatory, sustainability and economic requirements.
“SABIC Innovative Plastics is honored to receive industry recognition for Ultem foam, a material that offers a broad range of benefits to our aviation customers worldwide,” said Kim Choate, global Ultem product market leader, SABIC Innovative Plastics. “This structural foam is an exceptionally high-performing, lightweight form of our world renowned Ultem thermoplastic resin, which has proven its value over more than 20 years of use in aviation applications. Ultem foam is a major innovation that can help drive greater improvements in flame retardancy, fuel economy, lower greenhouse gas emissions and design flexibility helping airlines achieve their business and sustainability goals.”
Ultem foam enables aircraft designers to leverage the best-in-class flame, smoke, toxicity (FST) performance of Ultem resin in a form that is 10 - 20 times lighter than traditional plastic components. It is an ideal thermoformable core material for composite structures such as luggage bins, galleys and lower wall panels (dado panels). Ultem foam meets Ohio State University (OSU) performance levels below 50/50, and offers low moisture absorption, excellent energy absorption and low dielectric loss. It is also transparent to radar. The Ultem foam product family comprises grades with three different densities.
The Suppliers’ Innovation Challenge awards program, sponsored by Aviation Week and Defense Technology International, received submissions from 80 organizations. They were reviewed by a distinguished panel of nine judges on the basis of value provided to primes and subcontractors through: Design innovation that changes product size, weight or capability; simple alternatives to a complex and costly product design, and technology breakthroughs that provide new or substantially improved performance.