Interior designers looking to lighten up a bit will be looking carefully at a bright new idea in cabin panel materials. KYDEX plastic panels – available in any colour, printable with infused images for durability and thermoformable to most any shape – are a familiar tool for the design community, but a new, backlit variant is sure to draw attention.

Its maker, Pennsylvania-based Sekisui Specialty Polymer Innovations, says the new Lumina version of KYDEX “moves beyond traditional translucent materials by selectively allowing light to pass through the material, creating silhouettes”. They are inspired by an intaglio illustration technology called lithopanes – by which images are etched or moulded into very thin translucent porcelain, so they can only be seen clearly when backlit.

Lumina panel technology is still in its early stages, but deliverable now to designers seeking for a new decorative freedom with dividers and accents.

The team at Sekisui’s Bloomburg fabrication facilities will soon be welcoming partners and customers to a new 8,000ft2 work space geared to exploring the design and fabrication possibilities of KYDEX. Aviation applications engineer Matt Kline says the idea behind the appLab – due to open in the autumn – is to help designers understand the fabrication process that turns raw KYDEX sheets into finished panels or thermoformed products.

Chief operating officer Ronn Cort adds: “We want our collaborations to result in complete assembly solutions rather than single parts or materials. It is a place where design thinking comes to life to encourage customers to develop and move from prototype to production-scale manufacturing.”

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Source: Flight Daily News