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Smart Panels for SAT Aircrafts Cabin Insulation

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - SPAIN (Smart Panels for SAT Aircrafts Cabin Insulation)

Reporting period: 2018-01-01 to 2019-06-30

The aviation industry is going through a trend in innovation and the impact on the aircraft interiors is already visible on many areas. The high demand on distinct cabin customization and flexible solutions for keeping the passenger comfort experience to the highest standards has put pressure along the interiors supply chain for enhanced innovation in all levels and for all aircraft segments, also for small aircraft. This conventional thermal and acoustic insulation has high cost of purchasing and in addition has some important drawback like weight penalty and low accessibility to the entrapped systems (wiring, ducting etc) with direct impact to the maintenance cost due to the longer time necessary to perform inspection of these systems or of the structures since to have accessibility they have to be removed. All the above is much more true for small aircraft (SAT) where due to the limited space the accessibility can be very difficult and where maintenance cost are of primary importance, in addition due to the low volume of this general aviation market sometimes is not easy to find the Interiors supply chain ready to afford requirements coming from SAT OEMs at a relative low purchasing cost (there is a sort of market failure). SPAIN Project aims at fill up this market failure and at solving the above issues by developing an innovative and integrated thermo-acoustic insulation system for small aircraft cabin. Is SPAIN Project objective to design, develop, test and deliver a demonstrator of the above mentioned integrated thermo-acoustic insulation system. SPAIN Project aims at researching a cabin insulation system that limiting the increase of the acquisition cost, when referred to standard insulation system for small aircraft, at 5% and that having at least the same weight per square meter of the present similar cabin insulation systems used on SAT aircrafts, will have the following expected targets:

- Reduced cabin noise: lower than 80dBA (general aviation normally values are 90dBA and more)
- Improved accessibility and reduced maintenance cost linked to the insulation system removal: 20% of reduction of maintenance cost due to inspection.
- Improved installability and reduced use of installation means with benefits on total final cost (panels, installation means, installation labour hours) that will give a final real cost increase less than the above provided value.

By having the target to reduce the cabin noise for SAT aircrafts community by general values of 90db (or higher) to 80bd this project will have an important contribution to the impact as relevant for CS2 Program to reduce of 75% by 2035 the population exposed to aircraft noise. Thanks to the activity carried out in SPAIN Project it will be improved the integration of new and up-to-date insulation technologies and materials on small aircraft, this will have an impact on the transfer of technology from high Innovative segments like Large Passenger aircraft or Business Jet to the SAT community. In addition, this project will have an important impact on the revitalization of the European supply chain dedicated to SAT community.
"The project started with a screening of all the available materials for heat and noise insulation compatible with Airworthiness regulation (EASA/FAA) and existing on the market. Once selected the most promising materials (with a slection process that considered the performance and the cost) different configurations of materials package have been studied in order to have a range of solutions for the insulation package to be tested later. This packages of materials have been studied in order to match the target of cabin insulation (both thermal and noise) in terms of performance, weight and installability. Among the basic materials that have been identified we have introduce as well a special device called ""Helmholtz Resonator"", this is based on the Helmholtz principle and has the funciont of noise dumper. In parallel to the previous activity it has been carried out a screening of the available Testing Procedure and Standard to test materials from a thermal and acoustic point of view. Once identified the most appropriate laboratory testing standard the material samples to be tested have been opportunely sized, designed and manufactured. The activities continued with the testing of the basic materials previously selected in order to characterize them in terms of thermal conductiy and noise absorption, the results of this tests have been then used to conifrm the initial analysis done to size the different configuration of materials packages. Once the design has been completed the entire EV-55 Cabin Termo-Acustic insulation (the final SPAIN project demostrator) have been manufactured and installed on the EV-55 Aircraft at Evektor facilities in Check Republic. Dissemination and Communication actvities started also as soon as the project started and continured alongthe project duration. A Dissemination & Exploitation plan has been prepared and released at the beginning of the proejct. From dissemination point of view differente stages (formation) have been performed on the activities of SPAIN project allowing jung University sudents to join the project. From a communication point of view as well some activities have been performed and more in details: implementation of a web page for SPAIN project showing all the progress of the project, news on journal."
State of art on commercial aircrafts cabin passive insulation system consists in affixing insulation material between the outer skin and the interiors sidewall panel of the cabin. Usually, primary insulation is arranged on the outer skin, while a second insulation, the secondary insulation, is arranged on the interiors sidewall panels.
Most recent application on some Business Jet aircraft incorporates new generation foams shaped in such a way to be as much as possible tight to the fuselage structure ; They provide weight savings, improved handling/installation characteristics and enhanced performance durability in service compared to traditional insulation, resulting in lower operating and life cycle costs even if an higher purchasing cost.

SAT community aircrafts state of art on cabin passive insulation is even behind the above described situation. Apart from the business jet category, the general aviation aircraft are notoriously noisy inside the cabin. Small planes, by definition, have a lot less of these sound and thermal absorbent materials compared to the commercial or business jet aircraft, and are louder for this reason alone. The majority of today's commercial aircraft level of cabin noise is generally lower than 80 dBA, however, in smaller aircrafts the levels are considerably higher, 90 dBA and above.

SPAIN Project firstly aims at closing the gap with the commercial aircrafts state of art in terms of materials and integration methodologies adopted for the cabin passive insulation system.

As a second issue but directly tied with the materials and integration choice, SPAIN aims at improving the actual average General Aviation community cabin thermal and acoustic comfort standard requirements keeping low the weight associated with the cabin insulation system. This will be obtained by looking at the thermal and acoustic issues for the cabin as a whole and by making extensive use of analysis, both thermal and acoustic, with a Validation and Verification approach to reduce tests and prototyping cost.
Netzsch GHP 456 Titan Machine used for thermal tests
"Microlite AA Standard 0.6 pcf 2"""
Complete EV-55 Cabin Termo-Acustic Insulation Panels (Final Demonstrator)
Helmholtz Resonator
STL Impedance Tube
"Microlite AA Premium NR 0.5 pcf 1"""
"Skandia SK- 13200 0.63 pcf 2"""
Complete EV-55 Cabin Termo-Acustic Insulation Panels (Final Demonstrator)
"Microlite AA Premium NR 1.2 pcf 3/8"""