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SABIC, National Nonwovens Collaborate On Fire-Blocking Aircraft Seat Cover

Easthampton, Mass.-based needlepunched nonwovens manufacturer National Nonwovens recently selected ULTEM™ fiber from Saudi Basic Industries Corp.'s (SABIC's) Seattle-based Innovative Plastics business for a new fire-blocking aircraft seating dress cover marketed under the Ultra-Protechtor™ name. Ultem fiber is made using Ultem resin, a polyetherimide (PEI) material that confers high heat resistance, as well as high flow, high ductility and high strength to meet harsh environmental conditions. SABIC reports the inherently flame-retardant resin meets Federal Aviation Administration regulations, and is a lighter-weight product — a property sought after by the aerospace industry to reduce fuel consumption — than the aramid fibers National Nonwovens previously used in similar end products.

"The SABIC team provided support to enable us to develop our new Ultra-Protechtor fire blocker," said Anthony Centofanti, CEO and president, National Nonwovens. "This, combined with the outstanding performance of Ultem fiber, allowed National Nonwovens to easily upgrade from aramid to create a truly high-end product that meets growing industry safety demands and provides aircraft manufacturers with an exceptional fire blocker technology."

"By moving to Ultem fibers, National Nonwovens has created a new fire blocker technology that meets virtually all OEM seating specifications, sets a higher standard for flame-smoke-toxicity properties and ultimately will help to provide a safer travel environment in commercial and business aircraft worldwide," said David Wildgoose, general manager, Engineering Resins, SABIC Innovative Plastics.

October 2, 2012

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