SABIC Showcases Award-Winning Lightweight Solutions for the Mass Transport Sector at K 2013

SABIC is showcasing a range of innovative material technologies at K 2013 that are helping its customers in the rail and aviation segments of the mass transportation industry address the growing demand for high performance, lightweight components, driven in large part by regulatory and fuel efficiency demands.

SABIC’s multi-faceted solutions on display at this year’s K Show, touch multiple parts of the industry, from an award winning in-flight trolley to parts made through additive manufacturing for hidden spaces - all of which comply with the various global, regional and OEM safety norms and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards, such as Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) flame-smoke-toxicity (FST) safety regulations for aircraft, and European standards for fire safety in railway interiors. These innovative materials help customers in the mass transportation industry bring their designs to life, reduce weight and improve safety, while also reducing emissions and improving fuel efficiency, enabling its customers to solve key challenges across mass transportation industries worldwide.

“Our materials help our customers comply with industry standards and fire safety regulations while also enhancing the aesthetics and comfort of the train or aircraft cabin environment.” Kim Choate, Director of Marketing for Mass Transportation, SABIC’s Innovative Plastics business, says. “Compared to traditional materials used in air and rail interiors, SABIC material solutions can significantly lower system costs through consolidation of parts to streamline production, as well as lowering shipping and fuel consumption costs by reducing weight. The ability to custom color select materials also avoids the need for secondary operations such as painting.”

Lightweight and compliant solutions for aircraft and railway interiors

The challenge of carbon emissions reduction has been compounded by ever-increasing fuel prices, which account for more than a quarter of the operating costs in the aircraft industry, according to the Air Transport Action Group. Delivering opportunities for aircraft OEMs to meet the critical challenges of weight-out, regulatory compliance, sustainability and improved flying experience, SABIC has expanded its LEXAN™ XHR film and sheet portfolio with velvety texture aesthetic and co-extruded opaque sheet grades, as well as multilayer lamination film grades for aircraft interior applications.

The LEXAN XHR sheet portfolio, which includes SABIC’s new super low gloss LEXAN XHR6005 and LEXAN XHR5000 (co-extruded) sheets, delivers superior weight-out of up to 12% vs. traditional PVC/PMMA products, delivering improved fuel economy while fully complying with the Ohio State University (OSU) 65/65 standard and OEM’s material specification for aircraft parts and FST requirements (FAR 25.853) of major airlines for seating, cockpit linings, window surrounds and shades, door shrouds, and other interior components. It can also be color-matched in sheet and resin form for co-ordinated thermoformed and injection-moulded parts.  In addition, the new LEXAN XHR A13 film adds robustness in multilayer laminate constructions, used in decorative interior applications, increasing overall design functionality and reducing weight compared to traditionally used materials.

SABIC has helped its customers LSG Sky Chefs and Norduyn reduce weight by supporting the development of award-winning in-flight trolleys, certified as the lightest in the world[1]. They incorporate UV-resistant ULTEMTM resin for the extrusion profiles and door latch, while also incorporating ultra-tough NORYLTM resin to replace metal in the frame and other components. The weight reducing design helps airlines improve fuel efficiency while enhancing durability and flame retardance. The ability to custom-color ULTEM resin has also allowed Norduyn and LSG Sky Chefs to offer trolleys in the relevant airlines’ brand colors. K 2013 visitors are invited to the SABIC pavilion where refreshments will be served from the eight trolleys in custom SABIC brand colors on display.

Delivering fast and cost-effective production of small, low-volume parts is a major challenge for the aerospace market. The “hidden spaces” on aircraft present opportunities for weight reduction through use of engineering thermoplastics rather than traditional metals. Direct digital manufacturing (DDM), also known as “3D” printing, uses strong, lightweight, flame-retardant ULTEM 9085 resin to address one of the biggest challenges for aerospace OEMs: the ability to produce small volume fluid and air handling parts both quickly and cost-effectively. SABIC’s exhibit shows parts fabricated via Stratasys’ patented Fused Deposition Modeling ® technology, using ULTEM 9085 resin to provide enhanced design flexibility, cost-effective production runs, accelerated cycle times and compliance with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and OEM flame-smoke-toxicity requirements.

Around the world, rail manufacturers are also being challenged to comply with tougher safety regulations, while also providing durability, anti-vandalism protection, improved aesthetics, lower weights and system costs reduction. With this in mind, SABIC has developed and tested several materials, designed specifically to comply with Europe’s upcoming EN 45545-2 harmonized standard for fire safety, slated for introduction in 2015. SABIC worked with GRAMMER Railway Interior GmbH to develop their new seat back shells and side panels for first-class railcars by using LEXAN™ FST (flame-smoke-toxicity) copolymer – which meets fire requirements for the highest hazard level (HL3) under EN 45445-2, two years ahead of the standard’s implementation. The material can be molded into GRAMMER’s existing tooling, avoiding significant capital costs. In addition, it provides exceptional high flow, which enables large parts to be injection molded with high-quality aesthetics. Choosing SABIC has helped GRAMMER stay ahead of the regulatory curve.

SABIC invites visitors attending K 2013 in Dusseldorf, from 16 to 23 October 2013, to visit the stand at Hall 6, Stand D42, to see the latest innovations for the mass transportation industry. For an interview with Kim Choate, Director of Marketing for Mass Transportation, SABIC Innovative Plastics, please contact the press office.  More information can also be found at


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