SABIC showcases advanced thermoplastic materials and manufacturing processes at Aircraft Interiors Expo

HAMBURG, GERMANY, April 10, 2018 - The progression of ‘light weighting’ aircraft components is a vital enabler in allowing airlines globally to minimize costs and reduce maintenance and refurbishment cycles, while maintaining the highest levels of safety excellence, design flexibility and improved passenger experience. Advanced thermoplastic composites are an emerging solution for such applications. Widespread adoption of thermoplastic composites depends on new material technologies, upscaling of efficient production processes and expert application know-how. SABIC is focusing heavily in all three areas.

At the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, April 10-12, SABIC will highlight a number of innovative applications jointly developed with our customers, enabled by SABIC´s unique product offering of high-performance thermoplastic solutions. To help increase fuel efficiency, component longevity and aesthetic creativity while being fully compliant with stringent flame, smoke and OEM toxicity regulations. The thermoplastic offerings – comprising of resin, sheet, film, filament and foam compositions – are compatible with a range of processing techniques such as injection molding, thermoforming, additive manufacturing and composite manufacturing.

Latch covers for overhead stowage bins are required to protect latching mechanisms in order to ensure they can support the significant loading of passenger carry-on baggage and sustain repeated impact of baggage into the bin, as well as preventing excessive shifting of the baggage during flight. An innovative new latch cover, developed by Harper Engineering, a leader in engineering and manufacturing capabilities for the aerospace industry, has been shown to have oustanding toughness and excellent fire performance. These critical features are delivered through SABIC’s innovative ULTEM™ polyetherimide (PEI) resin, a key constituent of TenCate Cetex® TC1000 Premium, the advanced thermoplastic composite from which the latch cover is made. In addition to durability and flame-retardant properties, ULTEM™ can contribute to significant weight reduction and a shorter production cycle.

SABIC is also exhibiting an application giving an outlook on what is possible when combining the latest manufacturing technologies and latest product developments such as a developmental filament material designed for fused deposition modeling. Offering improved performance versus other products on the market, the polycarbonate filament can be used in applications that comply with flame, smoke and toxicity compliant for use in demanding aerospace applications.

Additionally, SABIC will be highlighting its competency for hybrid composite manufacturing through the presentation of the latest seat backs and arm rests produced by this method. This automated manufacturing approach combines the processes of laminate forming and over-molding with thermo-composite material, saving significant production time in forming, assembling and bonding of laminates and thermo-composite plastics. The innovative process also enables considerable weight reduction by enabling replacement of metals with composite materials.

SABIC’s LEXAN™ LIGHT F6L300 sheet is the lightest thermoplastic sheet available. With a pioneering closed cell structure, it can be thermoformed into complex 3D parts with very thin walls – down to 0.6 mm. Along with gravity of 0.85 g/cm3, the LEXAN™ LIGHT F6L300 sheet can deliver weight savings of up to 40 percent when replacing traditional polyvinyl chloride and acrylic blend-based sheet products. Applications include seating parts, cockpit dashboard enclosures, cabin partitions, luggage compartments and passenger service units.

“SABIC has long been a forerunner in developing innovative material technologies and manufacturing processes to support the aircraft interiors industry”, said Florian Jung, Global Segment Leader, Mass Transportation at SABIC. “We are proud to present some of our most advanced and versatile offerings at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo – and delighted to be featuring our LEXAN™ LIGHT F6L300 which represents a leap forward in thermoplastics development.”

SABIC’s LEXAN™ LIGHT F6L306 sheet, used in an actual Cockpit Dashboard from AXYAL, its ULTEM™ resin, along with the company’s hybrid composite manufacturing solution, can be viewed at SABIC’s booth 6C100 in Hall B6 at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg from April 10-12, 2018. Harper Engineering can be found at booth 4UB41 in Hall B4 and AXYAL at booth 5E45 in Hall B5.

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SABIC is a global leader in diversified chemicals headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. We manufacture on a global scale in the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific, making distinctly different kinds of products: chemicals, commodity and high performance plastics, agri-nutrients and metals.

We support our customers by identifying and developing opportunities in key end markets such as construction, medical devices, packaging, agri-nutrients, electrical and electronics, transportation and clean energy.

SABIC recorded a net profit of SR 18.4 billion (US$ 4.9 billion) in 2017. Sales revenues for 2017 totaled SR 149.8 billion (US$ 39.9 billion). Total assets stood at SR 322.5 billion (US$ 86 billion) at the end of 2017. Production in 2017 stood at 71.2 million metric tons.

SABIC has more than 34,000 employees worldwide and operates in more than 50 countries. Fostering innovation and a spirit of ingenuity, we have 11,534 global patent filings, and have significant research resources with innovation hubs in five key geographies – USA, Europe, Middle East, South Asia and North Asia.

The Saudi Arabian government owns 70 percent of SABIC shares with the remaining 30 percent publicly traded on the Saudi stock exchange.


Harper has been a supplier to the aerospace interiors industry for the last 50 years. Solving problems by providing innovative solutions to complex challenges is at the core of the value that Harper brings to its customers. Committed leadership, vertical integration and the capabilities of world-class engineering, production and administrative teams help Harper turn client problems into manufactured solutions. Harper Engineering will also be exhibiting at Aircraft Interiors Expo at booth 4UB41.


AXYAL (France and USA based production sites) manufactures a full line of plastics and composites interiors parts for business jet OEM’s, commercial planes OEM’s or equipment manufacturers. As experts in fireproof and lightweight materials, we design and manufacture parts with excellent quality finishes for both cosmetic and/or technical areas. Our multi-technical solutions, tailored to the specific needs of our customers, allow us to comply with complex specifications and to solve global usage problems by offering the best weight - strength – cost ratio.

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