Clear varnish system introduced into the VIP-completion market

Project achieves solvent proportion reduction by two-thirds

Lufthansa Technik has successfully introduced its "Environmentally friendly varnished veneer surfaces" (ULF) research and development project into the VIP completion market. Over the past months Lufthansa Technik has used the new varnish in the completion process of a VIP-widebody aircraft for the first time.

From January 2010 to February 2013, Lufthansa Technik had developed the new varnish system that not only meets fire protection, health and environmental requirements, but satisfies high quality standards as well. In the new product the proportion of solvent has been reduced from 60 percent to 20 without any adverse effect on processing quality.

The result of the project, which was funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, satisfies the latest EU directives on the protection of humans and the environment. Additionally, thanks to a chemical reaction triggered by ultraviolet light, the varnish hardens more quickly so that the subsequent grinding process can begin earlier.

Dr. Mathias Nolte, ULF project manager at Lufthansa Technik's VIP & Executive Jet Solutions Division, said: "Lufthansa Technik has gained a lot of expertise in the area of new varnishing and processing technologies, especially for our VIP business. By using this globally unique varnish, for which we have already filed a patent application, we are meeting our high aspirations as regards time and cost efficiency, employee protection, quality and official safety requirements in full."

Like all the other materials used in aircraft construction, the high-gloss polished wooden surfaces that are typically installed in VIP cabins have to meet safety standards from the aviation authorities. For optical purposes and to comply with fire protection regulations, these surfaces have to be treated with effective flame retardants and clear varnishes containing a high proportion of organic solvents. To achieve the desired quality, up to ten coats of clear varnish plus a final special top coat are applied to the wooden decorative surfaces.