Fibre reinforced lining contains explosion in luggage hold of aircraft


A bomb-proof composite lining developed by an international team of scientists, including academics from the UK’s University of Sheffield, has successfully contained blasts in a series of controlled explosions in the luggage hold of a Boeing 747 and an Airbus A321.

The Fly-Bag, which lines an aircraft’s luggage hold with multiple layers of fabrics and plastic composites, was tested under increasing explosive charges on disused planes at Cotswolds Airport, near Cirencester, UK.

Using this technology, the tests have demonstrated that an aircraft’s luggage hold may be able to contain the force of an explosion should a device concealed within a passenger’s luggage be detonated during a flight. This would mitigate damage to the aircraft and help keep passengers safe.

Fundamental to the design of the bag is a combination of fabrics, including aramid, that have high strength and impact and heat resistance.

“Key to the concept is that the lining is flexible and this adds to its resilience when containing the explosive force and any fragments produced,” said Dr Andy Tyas (pictured) of the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, who is leading the research at the University of Sheffield.

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