3D-printing materials pass NIAR’s flammability tests


Chromatic 3D Materials, a 3D-printing technology company, has reported that its thermoset polyurethanes have passed 14 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) vertical burn tests, demonstrating compliance with anti-flammability standards for airworthiness. The successful evaluation means that the abrasion-resistant materials can be used for 3D-printing a variety of airline parts, including elastomeric components used in stowage compartments and decorative panels, as well as ductwork, cargo liners, fabric sealing and other applications.

The tests, which were conducted by the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) at Wichita State University, showed that certain polyurethanes 3D-printed by Chromatic are compliant with United States standards in terms of suitability for use in aircraft interiors.

In particular, the company’s ChromaLast 65, ChromaMotive 70 and ChromaFlow 90 products each passed the 12-second vertical burn test necessary for use in aviation floor coverings, textiles and cushions, decorative parts, galley furnishings, electrical conduits, insulating components, ducts, cargo liners and elsewhere. Furthermore, both ChromaLast 65 and ChromaFlow 90 passed the 60-second vertical burn test for interior panels, galleys and under-seat stowage areas.

Having passed these crucial requirements, Chromatic now intends to offer the aerospace market its RX-AM materials and technology platform for additive manufacturing. Claimed benefits of the technology include low tooling costs for low- and medium-volume manufacturing, as well as cost-effective prototyping and high-mix production. Moreover, says the company, RX-AM makes it possible to 3D-print parts on demand.

“Additive manufacturing can revolutionise product design and supply chains – and it all starts with the type of materials that are available. The aviation industry has some of the most stringent materials requirements, and we are pleased that test results from the National Institute for Aviation Research prove Chromatic’s materials pass with flying colours,” said Dr Cora Leibig, founder and CEO of Chromatic. “We’re confident that our industrial-strength polyurethanes will open doors for 3D-printed applications in aviation as well as other industries that require safe, flame-resistant materials, including automotive, furniture and apparel”.

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Ever since his first flight on a TriStar, Adam has loved air travel, and since becoming editor of the Aircraft Interiors International brand he has really enjoyed the opportunity to be involved with the latest aircraft and airline products before they are even launched. Adam co-ordinates the running of the magazine, from commissioning articles and artwork, to ensuring that high standards of quality are maintained, as well as managing online content. Adam is proud to sit on the jury of the Crystal Cabin Awards and to have laid on the bed in Etihad's Residence.

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