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New aircraft materials can certainly take the heat

March 15, 2013, Davis Junction, Il. - Skandia, Inc., announced today that it has completed the across-the-board implementation of the FAA’s new Policy Statement: PS-ANM-25.853-01, also known as “Flammability Testing of Interior Materials.”


March 15, 2013
By Carey Fredericks

“The new policy statement allows the streamlining of testing for various material types,” explained Judy Johnson FAA DAR/DER and Skandia’s Flammability Manger. “It’s making quite a splash in the industry mainly because it has taken a lot of ambiguous topics and narrowed them down into a concise document. It’s a major improvement.”

Ms. Johnson said that ever since the first day the new policy was released, it has become an integral part of every flammability-testing plan Skandia has implemented.

“The FAA’s new policy covers all materials used in an aircraft’s interior. If you have questions about topics such as qualification testing or circuit boards, you have additional policy guidance to follow,” she said. “Even as a leader in flammability testing, there were so many advisory circular and policy guidelines to search through.

Now the FAA has not only consolidated the guidelines, they have streamlined the testing procedures. We save time and money all around.”

Ms. Johnson explained the FAA’s streamlining process like this: “For example, if an aircraft manufacturer was using multiple panels – say it was the same composite panel, but it may have extra plies of skin in some areas or possibly the cell structure may be a little different in other areas – but overall it is the same material,” Ms. Johnson said. “Prior to these new guidelines, the manufacturer would have to produce and test samples each of these panels. That’s very expensive and time consuming.

“With the new rules, we can just do a flammability test on one of the particular samples and qualify the rest,” she said. “So instead of the manufacturer having to produce maybe 15 or 18 samples, now they only have to produce, say three of them for testing.”

“It has and will continue to produce some cost savings for sure. Especially for cabin refurbishing projects where there are a lot of unique components,” Ms. Johnson said. “We are going to be able to do the qualifications testing quicker, easier and at less expense. That’s going to be extremely beneficial especially to the aftermarket industry.”