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Floor panels selector:
What options are available
aircraft floor panels? 

As floor panels are a component of an aircraft’s primary structure, they have more of a role than simply providing a flat surface to walk on. They are important for the overall safety of an aircraft during its normal operations, bearing high loads and resisting impact. But what are the options in the market for floor panels and what are the advantages and disadvantages of those options?

Flooring it: What options are available for aircraft floor panels?

Aircraft floor panels: What are they exactly?

Firstly, what are we talking about here? What are floorboards, what are they made of and what are they required to do? Floor panels are those panels or boards that are mounted to the aircraft’s floor beams to provide a surface for passengers and crew to walk on and provide attachment points for certain furnishings and other components.

The semi-finished floor panel – and its pros and cons

An increasingly popular option for floor panels is the semi-finished product. These floor panels are boards of a standard measurement (such as Airbus’ 1.9m x 2.95m boards) which are supplied to the airline in a pre-cut condition. Two or three floor panels can be cut from just one board, depending on the supplier and application area. A single Airbus semi-finished board will yield up to three panels. Inserts and hardpoints for fitting the panel to the floor structure are also provided or purchased separately. Airbus offers improved Torlon inserts, completely reducing the risk of micro corrosion on the floor structure. It has also implemented new and improved potting processes. As an alternative to finished panels, semi-finished panels can boast the following features.

 5 important factors about semi-finished floor panels

  1. Increased robustness: Some semi-finished panels on the market are more robust – and longer-lasting – because a smaller honeycomb composition is used, providing greater compression and higher impact resistance.
  2. Cross-solution: An important advantage of Airbus’ semi-finished panels is that they are a cross-solution for a number of aircraft in the Airbus family. A semi-finished floor panel bought for an A320 can also be used for an A350, A380 and an A330, for example. Instead of requiring a dedicated finished panel for one ‘head of version’ aircraft, the semi-finished panel is a single repair solution for multiple aircraft, positively impacting the administration and handling of panels. They can even support aircraft now out of production, such as the A380.
  3. 100 percent availability: Another significant benefit of this option is that it provides 100 percent availability, enabling operational flexibility. By having one board in stock, up to three panels are immediately available for repair or retrofit as soon as they are cut. This means there are no lead time issues for the airline and maintenance duration can be considerably reduced.
    READ MORE: Aircraft floor panels: How to reduce downtime through shorter lead times
  4. Complete aircraft coverage: Airbus’ semi-finished solutions cover the complete aircraft layout and are 100 percent installable. They will be repairable to the same standards as finished floor panels and follow existing repair procedures.
  5. Affordability: Semi-finished floor panels are often a more affordable option, being competitively priced and less expensive than their finished-panel counterparts. They can be a cost-savings option given their higher usability, particularly those from which three panels can be cut.

Aircraft floor panels: A longer lifetime and lower total cost of ownership?

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