Aircraft interiors: you are never too far away from igus®

Aircraft interiors are an important aspect of travelling and with the UK weather being so changeable recently that it’s hardly surprising that it has the British public dreaming of warmer climates.  If you are lucky enough to go abroad this year, you may not realise it but when you are on the plane, dreaming of the sun, you won’t be too far away from igus® products.  

igus® are well known as a motion plastics manufacturer. This means we are continually involved with aspects of designing parts for aircraft interiors. We invest a lot of time and resources into helping design our products into various applications within this industry.

When thinking about the key elements that aircraft interiors require, you need to consider the top priorities. These are:

  • Weight-saving
  • Durability
  • Lubrication and maintenance free
  • Quiet operation
  • Compact design

With igus® products, we can offer all of these elements and we work tirelessly to continue to develop technical high-performance materials that are suitable for such environments.

Why use igus® products within aircraft interiors?

igus® products are used in a multitude of areas within aircraft interiors, such as headrests, armrests and leg rest adjustments. The following reasons are examples of why igus® products are ideally suited for the aircraft components:

  • Lubrication-free: entirely clean operation and 100% maintenance-free thanks to igus® high-performance polymers
  • Lightweight: the use of lightweight components such as plastic, aluminium or carbon contribute to this.
  • Quiet: igus® bearings, linear guides and energy chains® slide smoothly and virtually silently since they are designed without balls.
  • Compact: igus® products adapt to any installation space … while remaining fully functional.
  • Cost saving: inexpensive in comparison to metal counterparts and yet are highly resistant to stress, therefore, not compromising on strength.

Read our Q & A with igus® specialist Dave Spence and find igus® products in the automotive industry too!

Where can igus® products be found within the cabin?


footrest aircraft interiors

When fully extended, the footrests need to be able to take 300lbs, so quite a high static load. Various standard and bespoke products that are used in this application are lightweight and are low in height. For example: our drylin W size 10 has a system height of 18mm and combined with an individual linear carriage, which only weighs approx. 30g, can take a load of 2000N plus. The carriage that is predominately used in this system is our WJ200UM-01-10-AL and normally we use 4 per system.


headrest aircraft interiors

Headrests on aircrafts require a controllable friction. igus® have a range of systems, where we can control the friction with different strength springs within the carriages. These are matched to the customers requirements, so depending on what you need, you can change the tension to exactly what you want. Ideally, you would want the headrest to stay in place. You need to find the balance between the headrest staying in place and not requiring too much force to get it into the desired position

Privacy screens/partition screens:

igus® have developed a range of standard and again bespoke belt drive modules and lead screw modules to drive individual privacy screens and partitions for business and first-class cabins. These have been designed to extremely tight space envelopes ensuring they have a sleek footprint whist not compromising on the static load capabilities of the system.

Safety in the cabin:

safety in aircraft interiors

igus® have developed various materials that have been approved as vertical burn materials. This means that the material extinguishes in less than 12 seconds. igus® have 6 materials that have been tested and have passed the CS-25.853 APP F Part 1c 1(ii) Vertical burn test. Many of these materials are available as bushes, stock bar and stock plate.

So next time you are relaxing on a plane on your way to sunny climates, look around, there is a strong possibility that you are sitting on igus® products.

Visit the drylin® and iglidur® pages to find out more about the above products.

Alternatively, contact our drylin® Product Manager Lee for any enquiries.


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