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Interesting material for interior panels


Nipomo, Ca
I came across a product at Lowes yesterday that was new to me; anyone ever used this? It's called Polywall, made by Parkland Plastics. It's .060 thick, comes in a 4x8 sheet and feels a lot like kydex, $22/sheet. Seems it might work real well for interior panels. Mfg says it's paintable; has a low ASTM burn rating. I'm going to make a few test panels for my upper baggage and than see how our paint (Stewart Systems) works on the material. Without paint, it is a bright kitchen white, mat finish color with a little texture to the surface. Rolls up nicely. Anyone else familiar with the stuff? Colors not great in my picture.



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Can you let us know how it works? Specifically, can you put it in a brake and put a clean, permanent bend in it? Does it drill without tearing out?

This could be good, I haven't decided what I will use for my interior panels yet but I've considered doing my own carbon because it looks good and is light but this is cheaper.

I kicked the idea of carbon fiber around, too, but I keep coming back to flammability. It seems really hard to find fire-resistant epoxy.

I once gave a burning burial to a 16 foot boat I had built that had been stove in by a log. It was sheathed in epoxy fiberglass. The fire was impressive scary....

I'm interested in this stuff, Marty.
Can you let us know how it works? Specifically, can you put it in a brake and put a clean, permanent bend in it? Does it drill without tearing out?

I’ll let you know. I have a small brake I can try. I’ll post what I find; I sure like the price and availability.
I did a lot of research on acrylic plastics before I started on this current project. I’ve previously used .060 Kydex in black. Works great. Very flexible and you can heat mold it or bend it in a brake very easily. I like it but I think you could save weight by using .047. Unfortunately it not available locally. I wanted to try something new. If your interested in this thread, look up 3 products- Kydex, Royalite and Boltaron R-52 all in.047. They all meet FAR burnability tests. I’ll share my opinions if anyone’s interested. Here are some pictures. The current project is the gray one in Boltaron.




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I’ve used that stuff on my boat. It doesn’t glue that well with 1300L. I might give it another try if I can find a compatible glue.
I actually got the idea to use Kydex on the PA-12 project from MCS Mike. It was available locally in black so I bought a sheet and started messing with it. Fun Stuff. Cut it with snips bend it in a brake heat mold it etc. It worked well and the interior came out great. I like acrylic plastic interiors because the are so durable and clean up easily (mud, fish guts spilled coolers etc.). By using the proper color you skip the painting or powder coating when using aluminum. Saves time weight and money especially when you’re making custom panels like I am for the L-21 windows and extended baggage.

I spent some time and came up with 3 products I liked that met the FAR burn certification tests. (You don’t need FAR burn certification in a CAR 3 airplane but that’s a whole different story). All in .047 or the nearest metric equivalents.

1. Kydex
2. Royalite R-52
3. Boltaron

Kydex- all around good everything. Very flexible. Molds easily and cuts easily. I actually bent some angles in the wrong spots and went back and straightened the out by unbending them and hitting it with a heat gun just to slightly warm the material. Rebent the angle after it cooled and you couldn’t tell the difference at all. The only problem was it is only available locally in black .060 and I wanted a gray color for this one.

Royalite- got a sample from the local vendor and liked it. Came in two different grays and seemed very similar to Kydex. One side is a mat/hair cell type texture and the other side (back side) is glossy. Only available in .060. I even went so far as to call the factory in Ohio to see about .047. They have an entire pallet of the gray I wanted in .047 but were unwilling to break up the batch. Basically it was unavailable until someone buys the entire pallet and retails it out. Kind of a bummer because it was my first choice.

Boltaron- this is what I’m using on the current project. I was able to get it in light gray and .047. I’m not positive but I think it’s the same material used in the cockpit of the B-737. I’ve spent hours looking at it and if it’s not the same stuff it’s pretty darn close. It comes in 4x12 sheets instead of 4x8 so you get a little more material (bonus!). It’s not as flexible as Kydex. If you try and unbend something, it will crack. It ok and the interior is completely finished now. Came out great but it’s not quite as easy to work with as Kydex.


Going forward, my first choice would be Kydex. The problem is I can’t find 4x8 sheets in any other color but black. If you want a black interior, this is definitely a good choice for material. Royalite would be my second choice but it’s unavailable. Boltaron ( which is what I used) would be my third choice. It is however available in several colors and 4x12 sheets.

All of the above will make a fine interior. If you can only get .060 I wouldn’t worry about using it. Truthfully the difference between .047 and.060 is for the entire interior is probably less than a pound.

Just my thoughts. YMMV


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Check Professional Plastics. They had 4’x8’ sheets of Kydex in a number of colors. I went went with a light gray for the lower half of the sidewalls and a white for the upper and ceiling sections. I thought the price was reasonable and shipping inexpensive. One color shipped from Denver, the other Seattle. A friend uses really thin stuff, I think it’s .020 or .025. It holds up well but hard to make it fit well and look good.

Thicker stuff, like .060, can crack when you bend it in a break. I found that a minor, and I do mean minor, amount of heat keeps it from cracking. You have to hold the bend for a short time to let the heat soak away into the break.
Yes Kydex “T” is I believe what is needed for airplanes. All of the above mentioned companies make numerous different types of acrylic plastics. Some have much more desirable characteristics than others.
I used it for interior panels, and it's a champ. Painted like a dream, and that ASTM burn rating is peace of mind. Excited to see how it vibes with Stewart Systems paint.
I used it for interior panels, and it's a champ. Painted like a dream, and that ASTM burn rating is peace of mind. Excited to see how it vibes with Stewart Systems paint.

And I also recently discovered these paints and color samples – a bit of a hidden gem, too! I used it for interior panels, and it's great. Painted like a dream, and that ASTM burn rating is peace of mind. Excited to see how it vibes with other types of paint.