AmSafe Bridport finds a solution for the safe transportation of Lithium Batteries

A project requested by their customers and supported by the BOI

Wednesday, 13 February 2019, Colombo: AmSafe Bridport, the world’s leading Fire Containment Cover (FCC) manufacturer recently succeeded in creating a product that safely transports lithium battery via air cargo. Upon the request of the global security and aerospace company, the Lockheed Martin Corporation, AmSafe Bridport, worked towards creating a fire containment solution that adheres to the rigorous requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the USA. With the support of the Board of Investment (BOI) in Sri Lanka, the testing of the product was carried out over the course of four days at Wathupitiwala Export Processing Zone.

Recognizing the increasing challenges faced by airlines, freight forwarders and battery manufacturers when transporting lithium ion batteries, AmSafe developed and tested the product to safely contain fire caused by the thermal runaway of batteries during transportation. The tests requires that the fire to be contained within the FCC for a minimum period of 06 hours, whilst limiting external fires and temperatures to be recorded 04 inches away from the FCC without exceeding 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Commenting on the success of the test product, Pravin Goonasekara – Lead Engineer of AmSafe Bridport for cargo products and the key designer of the battery covers stated, “We are truly pleased to have been chosen by Lockheed & Martin to carry out this ground breaking project, and we are very grateful to the BOI for having accommodated us during the crucial testing process. Prior to releasing any of our products, we first must ensure that they are fully airworthy. During our four-day testing period, we tested a different numbers of batteries with different measurements of ethanol in the battery content, and we are pleased to say that all four tests were successful. With the certified approval of the FCC and FAA, this product is now ready to be put out into the market. “

He further added that the BOI always encourages other companies under their purview to come up with innovative ideas and supports them in implementation. The BOI premises were specifically chosen due to its accessibility, spaciousness and the overall safety the area provides. Over the years, the BOI has supported AmSafe and other export companies by accommodating them during their testing procedures.

Providing an overview of the factory in the EPZ Ms. Chandani Ekanayake – General Manager, Amsafe Bridport, Sri Lanka said they hold all regulatory, quality system and customer approvals required by an aviation product design and manufacturing organization. Products are released to airlines and aircraft manufacturers together with appropriate airworthiness or conformance certificates. They maintain raw materials and products testing capabilities in-house.

Most of the products manufactured were initially designed and manufactured in the UK, but new variants and new design solutions for cargo products are now done in Sri Lanka.

Most of the products they produce are for commercial cargo and on a smaller scale catered to the defense market. One of Amsafe Bridport’s most interesting products is the Tarian RPG defeat mechanism which is an extremely strong textile net manufactured from high tenacity fibers. This netting is manufactured in Sri Lanka but the final product is made in the UK. Tarian is a highly effective solution for protection against RPGs and is also the world’s lightest such system. This product has won them the Queens Award in UK.

The company’s commitment to excellence begins with its team. AmSafe continuously strives to recruit top talent to the organization, and seeks out motivated professionals with a passion for aviation. The company’s former cargo sales manager for the Asia region, Tharindu Senanayake has been with AmSafe for nine years and has excelled in his job role. After numerous quick promotions, he has taken on a new role as a business unit manager and is now overseeing global cargo business in Asia, Middle East, Europe and US. Each of AmSafe’s employees are nurtured in the workplace, and given the tools, training and environment that they need to thrive and deliver exceptional results.