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5 Types of Plastic Used in the Aerospace Industry

Aerospace Industry

Plastic has a major component in the aerospace industry since 1970. They reduce the weight of the aircraft and improve fuel efficiency. When it comes to military aircraft, they help extend flight range with help jets evade radar detection. Components for propulsion and navigational functions, structural elements and interior components are all made out of plastic. Plastic has several advantages which make them an ideal choice in the aerospace industry:

  • Lightweight
  • Corrosion-resistance
  • Impact-resistance
  • Chemical-resistance
  • Durable

Let us look at 5 types of plastic used in the aerospace industry:

1)  Polyetheretherketone

Polyetheretherketone is the preferred polymer in the aerospace industry. It is used in conditions where it may be exposed to low temperatures and atmospheric particles. Its applications can be found in pump gears and valve seats. It can withstand large doses of radiation and has great resistance to hydrolysis. This means it can be exposed to high-pressures of water and steam without degrading. Furthermore, it exhibits great thermal and mechanical properties that include low flammability and creep resistance.

2) Thermosetting Polyimide

Thermosetting Polyimide makes for a great choice in various structural applications in the aerospace industry. It is used in insulators and electrical spacers for threaded nuts and other components. It has high resistance to chemicals and exhibits excellent mechanical properties. The biggest advantage that Thermosetting Polyimide offer is the high ductility than ceramics and lower weight than metals.

3) Polyamide-imide (PAI)

PAI is preferred over metal components in the aerospace industry. Reason being, it is resistant to most chemicals and radiation at room temperature and is flame retardant. This doesn’t give off smoke when burning. What’s more, it has superior mechanical strength and can retain up to 500 °F.

4)  Polychlorotrifluoroethylene (PCTFE)

PCTFE makes for a great material for components that are used in or outside corrosive environments. It is a fluorochemical plastic with a blend of physical and mechanical properties. In addition, it is chemical and fire resistance and has low moisture absorption. It can tolerate extreme temperatures ranging from -400 °F to +400 °F and exhibits great electrical properties. This makes it an apt choice for aerospace applications.

5)  Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)

PTFE is used for insulating cables and myriad wires in an aircraft. It is a fluorocarbon polymer and is an electrical insulator. It has high tear resistance, low flammability and can retain its properties in aerospace conditions.

With their lightweight properties, resistance to corrosive materials and high temperature, plastic is an ideal choice for the aerospace industry. If you are in the aerospace industry then Plastivision is a great platform for you to showcase your product range and network with industry professionals. Book your booth today!

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