Partnering opportunity

Multifunctional cabin wall concept for aircraft manufacturing

Summary

A German research group has developed a new type of a multifunctional, low-weight cabin wall for aircrafts, which guarantees comfortable cabin humidity and low noise levels. Sought are industrial partners for development and implementation of the aircraft cabin wall for transfer of IP rights, licensing, knowledge transfer or research cooperation to refine the technology in commercially relevant projects and increase market readiness. Contacts from other possible application areas are welcome.

Partner sought

Sought are industrial partners for the development and implementation of the aircraft cabin wall. This could be aircraft cabin manufacturers, aircraft manufacturers, respective component suppliers, or companies from other possible areas of application, like construction or marine sector. Partners could benefit from a transfer of rights of the existing IP (patent pending), licensing, knowledge transfer or research cooperation. The technology is currently tested in ongoing research projects. Further R&D collaborations could focus on refining the technology in commercially relevant projects to increase the market readiness.

Description

Walls of structures usually serve multiple purposes, which often result in conflicting requirements. This is especially true for airplane cabin walls. They have to provide sufficient thermal and acoustic insulation, must be of low weight, and have to house cables and infrastructure. A German research group has developed a new type of cabin wall which conforms to these needs and provides additional functionalities. Most important are the integration in the cabin ventilation system and a significant increase of allowed humidity in the cabin. Different cabin ventilation principles, e.g. conventional overhead or displacement ventilation, can be realized (Figures 1 and 3). Technically, the commonly used mineral wool for thermal and acoustic insulation is replaced by aerogel materials. These materials are nontoxic, fire-proof, of very low weight, and offer excellent thermal insulation. Especially the latter allows a thinner insolation layer and gives space for the following features (Figure 2). The aerogel material can be combined with membranes of acoustically effective meta-materials or porous foams and Helmholtz resonators. Such a blend will enhance the acoustic insulation because both low frequency noise and nasty tonal noise can be absorbed simultaneously. In addition, the space between the thermal and acoustic insulation layers can be used as a channel for airflow. The airflow suppresses condensation in the insulation, which is a serious problem in conventional systems using mineral wool. Hence, the air humidity in the cabin can be tuned to more comfortable levels and the generated airflow can be used as an integral part of the cabin ventilation system. Furthermore, air cooling at the outer wall/insulation is possible, which reduces the energy consumption for air conditioning. In the end, the system is perfect to realize a displacement ventilation concept. The overall reduction of cabin wall thickness allows for the implementation of a functional layer for electrical systems, electronics for displays, speakers, lights, etc. This innovation is also of relevance for the marine and construction industry, since similar requirements have to be met in these sectors. Partners for further development and implementation of the cabin wall could be aircraft manufacturers or aircraft component suppliers, but also contacts from other possible areas of application (e.g. construction or marine sector) are welcome. They could benefit from a transfer of rights of the existing IP (patent pending), licensing, knowledge transfer. The technology is currently tested in ongoing research projects. Further R&D collaborations could focus on refining the technology in commercially relevant projects to increase the market readiness.

Advantages and innovations

- integration of thermal and acoustic insulation in cabin’s ventilation system - significant increase of allowed humidity in the cabin due to avoided condensation in insulation - reduced energy consumption of air-conditioning system - integration of multimedia equipment possible - modular concept providing flexibility

Development stage

Under development/lab tested

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted


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