Gen Phoenix Unveils Aviation Industry's First Fully Recyclable Aircraft Dress Cover Made From Innovative New Circular Material USA - English USA - English

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PETERBOROUGH, England, May 22, 2024 ~ Gen Phoenix, a renowned leader in sustainable material innovation, has joined forces with Sabeti Wain Aerospace and Doy Design to introduce the aviation industry's first fully recyclable aircraft dress cover. This revolutionary product, known as the Circular Dress Cover, is a game-changing closed-loop solution that enables airlines to recycle 100% of their end-of-life seat covers into new seat cover material without compromising on quality, durability or certification requirements.

The Circular Dress Cover is upholstered in Helios, a cutting-edge material developed by Gen Phoenix using recycled end-of-life waste in a closed-loop process. This means that the material can be recycled repeatedly without any loss in quality. This marks a significant shift towards sustainability in aircraft seating as traditional seat covers are typically made from a mix of non-recyclable materials that often end up in landfills or incinerated after their service life.

Nico den Ouden, CTO and GM Seating of Gen Phoenix, explains the importance of this breakthrough product for airlines facing pressure to reduce waste and meet net-zero emissions targets. "Helios provides a revolutionary new circular solution for airlines looking to eliminate a significant waste stream and lower the carbon footprint of aircraft interiors. It's a win for sustainability and a win for airlines."

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Early life cycle analysis has shown that the Circular Dress Cover can reduce carbon emissions by approximately 30% compared to traditional dress cover manufacturing. For an average airline with 180 aircraft, this could prevent over 3 tons of landfill waste per year.

The Circular Dress Cover is designed with 100% recyclable components and meets all performance specifications for aircraft seating, including the 12-second vertical burn certification. It also features a new bio-based coating that provides a premium soft touch for a luxurious passenger experience while maintaining durability. Through their take-back program, Gen Phoenix will collect and recycle their customers' dress covers at the end of their useful life without compromising performance or passenger experience.

Nick Wain, Director of Sabeti Wain Aerospace, highlights the technical breakthroughs achieved by the team in developing a laminated system that can be fully recycled. "Gen Phoenix had successfully proven the process to recycle these dress covers, and this was one of the major technical breakthroughs from the team."

The Circular Dress Cover will make its debut at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg in May 2024 and is expected to be commercially available in early 2025. It will be featured on the Ultra-slim, low carbon seat concept designed by Gary Doy of Doy Design, which has been adapted in collaboration with Impressions Technologies to demonstrate the possibilities of recycling the entire seat frame and structure at the end of its life. This has been made possible by using recycled aluminum for seat backs and employing a new pressing technology (Hot Form Quench) from Impression Technologies that allows for high strength and deep draw parts to be used in a monocoque construction, reducing part count and weight.

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Gary Doy explains how their design decisions prioritized circularity and reduced embedded carbon in materials. "One of the most difficult areas of an aircraft seat to recycle is the cushion and dress cover system. To solve this problem, we needed to reevaluate the construction of the system and design a product with recycling in mind."

The Aircraft Interior Recycling Association (AIRA) also played a crucial role in this project by employing their AIRA Q system to calculate embedded carbon and identify materials for each individual part to support its recycling at end-of-life.

Nico den Ouden emphasizes on the success of this project as a result of collaboration between different businesses with a shared passion for making a difference. "The seat is just a catalyst to focus attention; the real win is getting people to work together to generate innovative solutions and push for a more sustainable approach."
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