American aircraft manufacturer Boeing is insulating its new airplane series, the Dreamliner 787, with Basotect©, BASF’s sound-absorbing and heat-insulating melamine resin foam. This is the
first time that a BASF foam is used in the mass production of acoustic insulation for airplane cabin walls and environmental ducting. The outcome of the close cooperation between the two
companies is the development of Basotect UL (ultra light), which, at six grams per liter, is 30 percent lighter than the conventional Basotect. Boeing and BASF also developed new test methods
for the use of this specialty foam in aviation.
New production and layout concept
According to Boeing, the lightweight BASF foam supports Boeing’s efficiency targets and, thanks to its high sound-absorbing capacity and its good
thermal-insulation properties, Basotect is also instrumental in Boeing’s concept for the layout of the Dreamliner 787 series. The new aircraft is quieter than aircraft of a comparable size.
Pieces cut of the elastic melamine resin foam can be installed in the cabin walls easily and quickly. The foam retains its flexibility even at extremely high temperatures as well as at very low
temperatures without becoming brittle. In addition, the material is highly flame-retardant, so that Basotect also complies with the strict fire-protection standards stipulated by the aviation
Boeing – BASF development partnership
The goal of the collaboration between Boeing and BASF was the use of Basotect as an insulating material for cabin walls. Since reducing weight
is of paramount importance for aircraft nowadays, this cooperation ultimately led to the development of Basotect UL, which is 30% lighter in weight than the classic Basotect, yet exhibits the
same attractive combination of acoustic and mechanical properties. Randy Smith, Boeing’s Interiors Design Engineer explains: “We investigated several material combinations, and our testing and
analysis determined that a laminate containing Basotect was the most weight-efficient system to reduce the interior noise in the forward fuselage of the 787. We will continue to work together
with BASF to identify other uses of Basotect in the thermal and acoustic insulation for future 787 airplanes.”
Boeing is the largest aircraft manufacturer in the world. The company is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, (USA) and has been producing aircraft for commercial aviation since 1916. Today,
about 12,000 Boeing airplanes crisscross the world’s skies, amounting to 75% of all airplanes worldwide. The first model of the new Dreamliner 787 will take to the skies in 2008. More
787-series planes for different flying ranges and space for 210 to 330 passengers will follow in the years to come.
Multifunctional melamine resin foam
Basotect, a thermoset foam, belongs to the PlasticsPlus? product line of BASF’s Styrenics Division. Due to its favorable combination of various
properties such as temperature-resistance, flame-retardant behavior, and also the fact that it is extraordinarily lightweight, flexible, sound-absorbing and heat-insulating, this foam has
already been widely used in the sound insulation of buildings as well as for fireproof airplane seats, in automotive construction and, most recently, in the Ariane 5 launcher, which delivers
satellites into space.
Additional information is available at www.basotect.de and .www.boeing.com
BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products, agricultural products and fine chemicals to crude oil
and natural gas. As a reliable partner to virtually all industries, BASF’s high-value products and intelligent system solutions help its customers to be more successful. BASF develops new
technologies and uses them to meet the challenges of the future and open up additional market opportunities. It combines economic success with environmental protection and social
responsibility, thus contributing to a better future. BASF has approximately 95,000 employees and posted sales of ?52.6 billion in 2006. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in
Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com.