The new Star-Quad data cable KL24 from Draka Fileca, Sainte-Geneviève/France, for the aviation industry is up to 25 percent lighter than previously used quad cables – with the same diameter and identical transmission properties.
Photo: DuPont/Draka Fileca
For the insulation of its new Star-Quad data cable KL24 for the aviation industry, Draka Fileca uses a fluoroplastic foam type instead of a conventional fluoroplastic. This allows weight savings of up to 25 percent – with the same diameter and identical transmission properties.
Photo: DuPont/Draka Fileca
Agnès Ibos (center), Account Manager France at DuPont Chemicals & Fluoroproducts, presented the sculpture and the prize money of 2,500 USD to Alain Jeanguillaume, Draka Fileca Director (left) and Charles Boullot (right), R&D Project Leader at Draka Fileca.
This has been made possible by modifying the design and using a fluoroplastic foam for the insulation. It not only helps to reduce fuel consumption in aircraft, it also lowers their environmental impact.
For this development, Draka Fileca – which is part of the Prysmian Group – took third place in the DuPont Plunkett Awards in the EMEA Region. The Plunkett Awards 2013 coincide with the 75th anniversary of the discovery of PTFE by DuPont scientist Dr. Roy Plunkett, and reward outstanding technical developments in the field of fluoroplastics. The presentation of the sculpture and the prize money of 2,500 US dollars was made by Agnès Ibos, Account Manager France at DuPont Chemicals & Fluoroproducts (CF&F), to Charles Boullot, R&D Project Leader at Draka Fileca.
For its new long-range aircraft A350, Airbus charged Draka Fileca with the development of a cable for digital data transmission. The cable not only had to enable high transmission rates but also had to be much lighter than the previously used KD24 type. Charles Boullot explains: “The challenge with developing this cable was to lower the weight without reducing the diameter, because one of the customer’s specifications was compatibility with existing contacts, connectors and tools. That is why we decided to use a fluoroplastic foam type for the insulation instead of a conventional fluoroplastic.” The type that was finally used was DuPont™ Teflon® FFR 770, which belongs to a family of new foam grades based on DuPont’s patented Airquick technology. These products are suitable for the production of lightweight high-performance cables for high-frequency signal transmission in a wide temperature range and with minimal signal distortion.
The new Star-Quad data cable KL24 from Draka Fileca complies with the requirements of EN 3375-011 for electric cables for digital data transmission in the aerospace industry. It has the same transmission properties as the previously used KD24 quad cable, but is up to 25 percent lighter. It will initially be used in the new long-range Airbus A350, and there are plans in the near future to extend it to the A380 and all other Airbus platforms.
By replacing the existing data transmission cable with the new KL24 from Draka Fileca, the weight of an Airbus A380 can be lowered by as much as 85 kg. According to calculations by the French Aerospace Industries Association GIFAS, an aircraft will thus use 510 t less fuel over its lifetime, and produce 1,700 t less greenhouse gases.
Draka Fileca, part of the Prysmian Group, has a rich heritage in delivering dedicated wires and cables for the aerospace industry. Founded more than 50 years ago, the company rapidly became a European leader for aerospace wires and cables. Since the early 70s and the Concorde program, Draka Fileca has produced, with the most innovative technologies, wires and cables for both civil, military aviation and space. Draka Fileca develops, manufactures and sells a full range of wires and cables to the aircraft and helicopter manufacturers all over the world, from airframe wires (copper or aluminium based) to data-transmission cables (copper or optical fiber). Thanks to the expertise and the know-how of their 180 employees, Draka Fileca has received during the last couple of years important distinctions from companies like Fokker, Labinal or Airbus, which gave them the award of the best supplier in 2012. Those awards recognize the excellence of the high quality and service level that Draka Fileca offers to all its customers.
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Horst Ulrich Reimer | DuPont
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