SABIC’s High-Performance ULTEM™ Fiber Helps National Nonwovens Create First Fire Blocker Suitable for All Aircraft Seating Dress Covers

Pittsfield, MA, October 31, 2012 --( Here at the Aircraft Interiors Show, SABIC’s Innovative Plastics business is showcasing the recent success of co-development efforts with its customer, National Nonwovens – the creation of the aircraft industry’s first fire blocker for all aircraft seating dress covers. Marketed and sold under the Ultra-Protechtor™ fire blocker brand, National Nonwovens was able to develop this revolutionary new technology by upgrading from aramid to high-performance fiber made from SABIC’s inherently flame-retardant ULTEM™ resin, a polyetherimide (PEI) material. The new product can be used with leather, synthetic leather and woven fabrics, and is on display here at both the National Nonwovens booth (#237) and the SABIC booth (#828), spotlighting how SABIC collaborates with aerospace industry customers to develop next-generation product innovations.

“The SABIC team provided support to enable us to develop our new Ultra-Protechtor fire blocker,” said Anthony Centofanti, chief executive officer and president, National Nonwovens. “This, combined with the outstanding performance of ULTEM fiber, allowed National Nonwovens to easily upgrade from aramid to create a truly high-end product that meets growing industry safety demands and provides aircraft manufacturers with an exceptional fire blocker technology.”

ULTEM Fiber Contributes to Cabin Safety and Comfort and Lower Operating Costs

ULTEM fiber is based on the company’s world-leading ULTEM resin, which delivers high heat resistance together with high flow, high ductility and strength to meet tough environmental conditions. This material, which meets the requirements of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) FAR 25.853 regulations, features inherent flame retardance without additives or fillers that can give off volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

National Nonwovens gained key property improvements using ULTEM resin for its new Ultra-Protechtor fire blocker, including higher limited oxygen index (LOI) and lower heat release for safety, and low specific gravity and reduced moisture absorption for lighter weight solutions – reducing fuel consumption – which continues to be a main focus to the aerospace industry.

The SABIC material also contributes to the durability and softness of the Ultra-Protechtor fire blockers due to the inherent properties of the ULTEM resin.

“Whether it’s in the form of a resin, fiber or foam, aerospace grades of ULTEM resin have become a clear solution of choice for the most demanding applications,” said David Wildgoose, general manager, Engineering Resins, Innovative Plastics. “By moving to ULTEM fibers, National Nonwovens has created a new fire blocker technology that meets virtually all OEM seating specifications, sets a higher standard for flame-smoke-toxicity properties and ultimately will help to provide a safer travel environment in commercial and business aircraft worldwide.”
SABIC Innovative Plastics
Susan LeBourdais