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Pros and Cons of Finished and Semi-Finished Floor Panels

It is widely known that the components of aircraft are specially designed for aviation purposes, with everything from windows to steering mechanisms being unique, as compared to those used in day-to-day life. Interestingly, this applies to much more aircraft than we may realize, and plane floor panels are a good example of why on-land designs must be modified to account for the unique factors of flight. This means that floor panels used in aircraft must meet certain requirements to do more than just provide a flat surface to walk on. With many options on the market for either finished or semi-finished floor panels, this blog will provide insight to the advantages and disadvantages of both types.

Regardless if floor panels are finished or semi-finished upon procurement, they all must offer a few key functions. For example, floor panels must balance an adequate strength to stiffness ratio for supporting weight while also being light enough to help keep aircraft mass low. Part of the innovative design of aircraft floor panels is their ability to transfer high shear loads to the fuselage, so there is less force placed directly on the panels. As such, they must be designed to withstand these loads for adequate force transfer, that of which is accomplished by their unique structural makeup.

Most aircraft floor panels are made from honeycomb sandwich panels with faces of pre-impregnated glass and cole fibers. A thermic pressing compounds the materials with resin, and the panel is then ready for use. Most panels additionally employ edge fillers to resist liquids. All of this in mind, a buyer’s main consideration is to decide between finished or semi-finished floor panels.

Finished panels are highly customized and they arrive ready for immediate installation. As such, they are designed for specific aircraft types and installation positions. Unfortunately, this causes long lead times because airlines will place a variety of custom orders. In comparison to semi-finished panels, they tend to be lighter in weight, but finished panels fall short in a few key areas.

Semi-finished aircraft floor panels are pre-cut from a variety of specific measurements, such as Airbus’ 1.9m x 2.95m boards. The buyer may typically cut these boards into two or three panels, which may then be used in a number of aircraft, making semi-finished panels a good cross-solution for airlines with multiple models. Semi-finished panels are convenient choices for a number of applications, however it is important to remember these panels will not arrive immediately ready for installation. Additionally, their higher strength and robustness also contributes to a higher overall aircraft weight, so make sure you have the time and resources needed if purchasing a semi-finished panel.

Once you have determined which type of aircraft floor panel you require for your operations, kick off the procurement process with Aviation 3Sixty, a leading online distributor of aircraft floor panels and so much more! Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we offer around-the-clock service and Instant Quotes within 15 minutes or less through our website. We encourage you to explore our inventory of over 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find items from reputable manufacturers around the world before submitting a Request for Quote (RFQ) on any part you need. Simply include all details relevant to your purchase in your RFQ, so our market experts may account for any shipping deadlines, target prices, and other restrictions in your custom quotation. To learn more, contact us at any time via phone or email!


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