Textile-Based Luggage Containers for Onboard Blast Protection 2011-01-2517
The rise in worldwide terrorism has required measures be taken to harden aircraft against catastrophic in-flight failure due to concealed explosives. The risk that a small quantity of an explosive could get undetected cannot be neglected, and the introduction of countermeasures to reduce the effects of on-board explosions should be considered. This is the idea behind of the European research project FLY-BAG where a blastworthy textile luggage container for the protection of aircrafts from on-board explosions from explosives hidden in luggage in the cargo holds has been developed.
The FLY-BAG concept is based on the development of an advanced flexible anti-blasting cover and composite floor system able to resist a small to medium explosion by controlled expansion and full containment of the pressure generated by the explosion whilst, at the same time, preventing hard luggage fragment projectiles (shrapnel) from striking the main structure of the aircraft at high speed.
A multi-layered flexible structure has been invented to resist the large overpressure generated by the gas expansion which is integrated with a lightweight sandwich floor and wall elements designed to absorb the shock holing loads of the explosion. The flexible textile layer is made from an innovative combination of different reinforcing textile structures which deforms in a controlled way during the explosion.
The realization of these components, their processing, full-scale blast testing, and demonstration of applicability into airplanes (Meridiana Airbus A319 and A320) has been a 2-year investigation involving research centres, testing laboratories, industrial partners, universities, and specialised high-tech SMEs. It has comprised material optimisation, manufacturing, material testing, laboratory testing, numerical modelling and verification, and finally full scale blast testing and installation trials inside Airbus airplanes.
The final prototype successfully survived a series of blast tests of growing intensity up to the maximum targeted charge value, without significant damage.
The prototype was also fully demonstrated during one installation trial inside one of the Airbus A319 of the partner Meridiana.