When cabin refurbishment time comes around, it might be wise to take another look at the humble components that support all those paying bottoms: seat cushions.
These have traditionally been made of foam that can neither be washed nor recycled and sometimes sag with age. Now there’s a new cushion material that can be washed or recycled, weighs less than foam and contours comfortably to fit its guest, the airline passenger.
Supracor’s Stimulite has long been used to comfort pilots on fighter jets and was selected for crews on Boeing’s 787, explained Supracor vice-president Susan Wilson. Now the material has won its first major airline order for economy seating on 777s from comfort-conscious SWISS.
Wilson believes Stimulite will be a game changer in commercial aircraft seating. She says one major carrier throws 1,800 foam cushions a week into landfill, because these can neither be washed nor recycled.
Most important, Stimulite’s honeycomb thermoplastic urethane has just the right resistance to weight to shape itself to the human body.
Stimulite has passed all its dynamic and flammability tests and now, with acceptance by Boeing, looks ready to compete for cushion duties in all those big economy-class cabins.