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Composiflex develops process to meet fire, smoke, toxicity standards with non-phenolic composites

Fiber reinforced plastic employing phenolic resin systems have commonly been used to meet FST (fire, smoke, toxicity) requirements as defined by Federal Aviation Administration standard FAR 25.853.  However, formaldehyde and phenol, toxic chemicals present in phenolic resin, sometimes disqualify these materials from being applied.  Further, because its density is higher than other matrix materials, phenolic is not necessarily the ideal choice for weight-conscious military and aerospace applications.   

Composiflex, global supplier of highly-engineered composite products, recognized that phenolic-based composites were often specified for aerospace applications simply because of their well-known ability to pass FAR 25.853 FST tests.  Engineers sought a method by which composite material selection could be first based upon performance needs for the application and then FST requirements.   

Composiflex engineers devised an innovative wrap system, applying a skin of two different materials to the outside of the composite part during lay-up.  The result is a component that is optimized for performance under specific application conditions but also passes FAR 25.853 testing.  "The difference," says Marty Matthews, Composiflex sales and marketing executive, "is that mechanical performance can be considered first in the design without compromising compliance with fire, smoke, and toxicity specs."  

The process has already been successfully proven with Composiflex customers in both the commercial and military sectors, most notably in the production of vehicle and aircraft armor.  This capability is gaining even more significance as today's aerospace and military engineers seek to minimize vehicle weight by converting existing components from metal to composite materials, as well as incorporating a higher percentage of composites into new designs.

Press release issued by Composiflex, Inc. on January 12, 2009


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Composiflex, Inc. Carbon-reinforced Composites, Polymer Composites, Composite Manufacturing Services, Subcontracted Composite Parts, Composite Moulding, Composite Structures, Aircraft Structural Components, Aramid-reinforced Composites, Composite Sandwich Panels, Radio Communications Equipment, Communication Antennas, Aircraft Interiors, Armour Seating, Composite Filament Winding, Honeycomb Core Composites, Fibreglass, Foam Core Composites


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