Shining example to promote safety

New GuideU system revolutionizes floor path marking

Floor path marking systems are an essential constituent of the cabin interior of commercial aircraft. In an emergency situation they show passengers and crew the way to the emergency exits even if the cabin lighting should fail. To guarantee this function even in the event of failure of the onboard electrical systems, Lufthansa Technik offers a floor path marking system based on a photoluminescent material – the GuideU system, which absorbs light energy from the environment and releases it again in the dark for up to 22 hours. Unlike electronic systems based on light emitting diodes (LEDs), GuideU is totally independent of a power supply and furthermore it requires absolutely no maintenance.

GuideU is the outcome of the technical challenge of developing an optimal floor path marking systemfor aircraft that costs as little as possible to manufacture and whose photoluminescent pigments are sufficiently bright and adequately protected against mechanical damage. Lufthansa Technik has steadily improved the GuideU system over the last few years. Thus, as well as a profile for carpeted floors, a special galley light profile was developed for the thin, moisture-resistant non-textile flooring in galleys that is designed for extremely heavy mechanical stress and, despite lower height, possesses adequate luminosity. Lufthansa Technik won the Crystal Cabin Award in the category of materials and components at the Aircraft Interiors Expo 2011 in Hamburg for this system.

Thanks to a completely new and innovative manufacturing method, the company has now succeeded in developing a new profile that can be used for both wet areas (galleys) and carpeted areas of the cabin. The unique feature of this innovation is that the profile can be supplied with any curvature. The new system is also flatter and lighter than its predecessor. Whereas in the past the profiles had to be laid in pieces by the emergency exits and galleys, the curved variant is not just a more elegant solution but it can also be laid more easily and more quickly. A range of about 19 colours is now available as well. At the same time the number of required part numbers has been drastically reduced. GuideU is available in strips which are two meters long.

Aircraft manufacturers, customers and designers will benefit equally from all these advantages. Thanks to the reduction in thickness from five millimeters to just two, the new product is 35 percent lighter. This corresponds to a weight saving of eight kilograms for a Boeing 777 and 15 kilograms for an Airbus A380. The variable curvature and the increase in the number of colour shades offered, from five to 19, give interior designers much more creative leeway. And because there are now just two part numbers instead of six, customers can make substantial savings on their logistics and assembly costs.

A new, flatter filler that serves as an underlay to even out the depth of floor covering and a flexible carpet protector are also available as options for the GuideU system. The Flexible Carpet Protector is, like the light strips themselves, available in a variety of colors. A further option is also now available: the GuideU 1000-series CustomFit. This makes it possible to fully integrate the light strips into the design of the airline's floor covering. The light strips are adapted to suit the specific design of the airline carpet or NTF floor covering. Almost any design can be integrated with the light strips, so that even the most individual customer requirements can be fulfilled. Lufthansa Technik is regularly presenting the GuideU system to all customers, interested parties and journalists at trade shows and fairs.

April 2016