A major international award for Diab recognized a potentially game-changing innovation in aircraft cabin interiors at the heart of which is Intura, the latest interior coating system from AkzoNobel.
High-performance core materials manufacturer, Diab won the 2022 JEC Composites Innovation Award in the Aerospace Application category for its work in developing a new thermoplastic sandwich panel made from Thermoplastic skins and featuring Diab’s foam core Divinycell F50.
An integral part of the panel is the Intura film by AkzoNobel, which protects the surface with a tough coating that can be finished in a range of different colours and textures including solids, pearls, micas and metallics, enabling OEMs to differentiate their cabin interiors.
The film, capable of resisting the high temperatures required in the curing process, can be ‘welded’ to the panel as it is moulded in a single, one-step process that only takes a few minutes.
Diab’s thermoplastic foam core panels represent an alternative to traditional structures, as they are more flexible than standard honeycomb core and phenolic resin materials and thus they can be shaped and moulded for different applications. The panels are made of 40% recyclable materials for foam core Divinycell F, 100% recyclable and fully compliant with European REACH regulations.
Because of how the new panels are designed, they can be manufactured up to 35 times faster than traditional panels and deliver a weight saving of anything up to 10%. This allows to reduce by up to 20% the cost and accelerate the speed of manufacture, while improving airline fuel efficiency and reducing CO2
“While the structure of the new composite makes them lighter, they lose nothing in mechanical performance,” said Aurelien Lafforgue, Segment Manager, Aerospace and Industry for Diab. “They have better thermal and acoustic properties, helping to reduce the effects of noise and vibration in the cabin, and therefore delivering even greater customer comfort and a better traveller experience. They are also 100% compliant with FST requirements, having passed all relevant tests with a good safety margin.”
Christophe Ruiz, Area Sales Manager at AkzoNobel Aerospace Coatings, says that the new innovation has the potential to revolutionize cabin interiors: “It shows what can be achieved through more than a decade in partnership and we are very much looking forward to working further with the Diab team on future developments and what we can discover together.”
“Innovation is in our DNA and our philosophy is that we are never afraid of trying new things. With the valuable support we have received from AkzoNobel, we believe we are shaping a new future in cabin interiors, breaking down the barriers of conservative thinking, and opening our industry’s minds to a new way of working”, added Aurelien.