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Southwest last year made big headlines in the aircraft interiors world when it choose environmentally friendly carpet tiles for its new EVOLVE interior, which is being retrofitted to current 737-700s and installed line-fit on Southwest’s 737-800s.
More than 100 aircraft have been fitted with the carpet tiles as part of the EVOLVE programme, but the carrier has observed a fraying of edges on some of the tiles.
The efficiency gains of the tile, including the ability to trade out a carpet tile that has a stain or a piece of gum on it without having to replace all the carpet, as well as durability and sustainability, is what attracted Southwest to the Interface product in the first place, says McInnis. “Those are still important to us but we have to make sure we have the durability we want and that’s where the testing comes in.”