WOOD DALE, Ill., June 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Setting a milestone for in-flight safety, commercial aerospace and defense contractor AAR (NYSE: AIR) announces development of a Fire Resistant Container (FRC) that has proved capable of containing an onboard fire for up to six hours of flight. By partnering with DuPont, a leading science and innovation company, AAR was able to incorporate DuPont™ Kevlar® brand fiber and Nomex® XF flame barrier into the innovation, making it the lightest weight FRC on the market, up to 30 percent lighter than aluminum containers.
Positive testing of the main deck container incorporating DuPont™ Kevlar® and Nomex® XF has benefits for cargo carriers at heightened risk of experiencing onboard fires linked to hazardous materials, chemicals or lithium batteries.
"This is an improvement over other fire-resistant containers, which give pilots anywhere from 18 minutes to 4 hours to land an aircraft from the time smoke detectors go off," said Hector Plaza, Vice President, The Americas, for Nordisk, the AAR subsidiary that collaborated with DuPont. "Our new product can provide the pilot up to six hours to land."
The design breakthrough comes as AAR (Hall 3, Stand B117) and DuPont (Hall 3, Stand D20) showcase their broad capabilities, products and services in the U.S. Pavilion at the 50 th International Paris Air Show at the Le Bourget Center June 17-23.The results could set a new technical standard for in-flight fire containment. "Regulatory agencies currently have no specification for certification of this type of product," said William F. Weber, Vice President, DuPont Protection Technologies. "So we're actually well ahead of the current standard in developing a product that reduces fire risk while also providing weight savings. These are two significant benefits for air cargo carriers." One type of fire-suppression system installed on cargo planes uses argon-based foam. If smoke is detected inside a cargo container, the system punctures the container and delivers the foam to extinguish the fire. A drawback is that carrying the argon on board adds weight, Plaza said.