Seat belts on aeroplanes consist of non-metallic webbing materials and metal parts (e.g. buckle) and are exposed to a wide range of potentially detrimental conditions during their lifetime such as mechanical degradation due to frequent daily operation as well as environmental exposure (UV, humidity). All above factors may potentially affect the performance of seat belts and passenger safety.
Generally seat belts are replaced on condition as per the criteria specified in the seat belt manufacturers maintenance manual (CMM). The Agency launched this SEBED research project to assess a potential degradation of seat belt performance. For this project seat belts of different service lives and history underwent static and dynamic full-scale testing as well as small scale (component) testing on a newly developed feasibility test rig where dynamic test pulse, belt force etc. was representatively simulated.