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Lighter foam variant streamlines aircraft insulation

05 April 2006

BASF is now offering a new variant of Basotect, its sound-absorbing and heat-insulating melamine resin foam. The material is called Basotect UL and it is particularly suitable for the insulation of aircraft cabins. Weighing only six grammes per litre, it is 30 percent lighter than conventional Basotect, meaning that this new BASF foam is able to meet the ever-rising requirements made in aircraft construction in terms of sound protection and weight reduction. This new, yellow-coloured Basotect UL also complies with the stringent fire-protection standards stipulated by aviation authorities.

Thanks to its filigree, three-dimensional network structure, consisting of easily thermoformable filaments, panels made of Basotect UL are simpler to install than the glass fibre pads with which manufacturers normally insulate their aircraft. In a complex procedure, glass fibres have to be spun before they can be secured in the form of pads between the ribs of the airplane fuselage. Moreover, the vibrations that typically occur during flight cause the fibres to slip down over the course of time, which can impair the insulating effect. Basotect UL, in contrast, is more flexible and softer than glass fibres - so it is simple and quick to install while being permanently secured against slippage.

Basotect UL has a number of advantages over foams that are already in use for interior insulation in aircraft. It is not only much more flexible than materials such as polyimide foam, but the BASF foam also retains its flexibility, even at extremely low temperatures at which it exhibits a better thermal insulating effect.

Basotect, a thermoset foam, belongs to the PlasticsPlus product line of BASF’s styrenics. In its well-established version weighing nine grammes per litre, it has been a longstanding fixture in aviation, finding its way into airplane seats and at times also into the insulation of cabin walls and pipelines. Owing to its favourable combination of a number of properties such as temperature and flame resistance, extremely low weight, elasticity, sound absorption and thermal insulation capabilities, this foam is also found in many other areas of daily life, particularly in the sound insulation of buildings such as acoustic test facilities, cinemas and VIP lounges, as well as in vehicle construction.

Information on the product is available at

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