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Aircraft Manufacturers are Getting Leaner with Durable and Lighter Seats Made of Expanded Polypropylene Foam

Expanded Polypropylene Plastic, a critical contributor in reducing the weight in automobiles and corresponding CO₂ emissions for over fifteen years, is now lowering the load of aircrafts.

Aircraft manufacturers are following the steps of automotive manufacturers that have been drastically reducing the weight in cars with the use of automotive components made of lightweight and durable expanded polypropylene (EPP) foam.

DS Smith Plastics, a leading UK based manufacturer of expanded polypropylene (EPP) foam products and tier one supplier to the most prestige auto manufacturers, will be supplying seating to aircraft manufacturers. The change consists of replacing the traditional heavy, bulky and expensive aluminium seats with lightweight, refined, durable and economic airliner seating made with expanded polypropylene foam. This shift in seating material comes with great benefits in cost, ergonomics, aesthetics, fuel consumption and safety. Expanded polypropylene seating self-extinguishes in case of fire due to being built with a fire-retardant EPP grade.

Less weight equals more space and comfort

The use of EPP moulded foam as structural parts of the seat, eliminates the need for additional heavier materials. Although some premium airlines may choose to add additional padding to the seats, padding is not necessary on EPP foam seats, as the material offers the required comfort level. Additionally, with less bulk to the seats, it provides additional leg room in standard economy estimated 3 inches (about8 centimetres) and a higher number of seats may be installed in each aircraft.

Airlines have adopted a voluntary fuel efficiency goal to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by at least 25% by 2020. By replacing heavy seats with lightweight, durable and recyclable seating made of EPP foam, is a step in the right direction.

DS Smith Plastics, Foam Products manufactures to the critical automotive parts following ISO TS16949 standards to ensure quality and reliability of all parts and components manufactured.

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