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9 Popular Plastics for Military Applications

Plastics for Military Applications

For many decades plastics has been successfully used in military defense to produce strong and lightweight parts. Plastics have replaced metals in military applications due to its growing number of advantages. It is durable, waterproof, lightweight and does not conduct electricity. From simple hooks to delicate compass cases and very high precision weapons parts, plastic is considered safe and strong for military applications. Let us begin by understanding the advantages that plastic has to offer in the military.

 Advantages of Plastic in Military Applications:

Plastic offers uniformity in applications and dependability in the field.  They save time and money in production as large orders of precision items can be tailor-made to military specifications in less time. This is achieved by using plastic injection molding. Some examples are shielding sea-to-air missile components and hydraulic fittings.

Plastic offers freedom to design as they have fewer constraints in assembling multiple parts. This allows manufacturers to design complex geometries using the best suitable method for the application. Plastic in military applications offers high durability as it is resistant to chemicals, heat, moisture, and impact.  Plastic military equipment does not require expensive secondary operations, such as machining or painting and can be designed with lesser parts. This helps in cutting down additional costs.

Plastic is lighter than metal and is used in military gear and equipment. The mobility of troops is immensely improved due to this. What’s more, plastic is also used in land, air and sea vehicles to reduce weight and improve fuel efficiency.

9 Popular Plastics that are used in Military Applications:

  1. Polypropylene – It is lightweight, heat and chemical resistant, tough and low in cost. It is used in military-grade containers, heavy-duty rope, and ties.
  2. Polyetheretherketone – It offers thermal stability, low moisture absorption, resistance to abrasion and chemical. It is used in aircraft components, seals, electrical connectors and pump impellers.
  3. Acetal – It is rigid, resistant to chemicals and moisture and low in cost. It is used in gears, slide guides, cams, rotors, handles, bearings, plumbing components.
  4. Thermoplastic Elastomer – It offers material stability, colorable, and good thermal properties. A thermoplastic elastomer is used in over-molding of handheld devices, night vision equipment, protective masks, boot soles, and soft touch grips.
  5. Polycarbonate – It is temperature resistant, offers dimensional stability, and toughness. It is used in safety helmets, shields, consoles, panels, light covers, and reflectors.
  6. Polyamide 6 – It is high in strength, low friction, cost-effective, and chemical resistant. It is used in rollers, wheels, gears, and bushings.
  7. Polyester – It is heat and chemical resistant, rigid, and cost-effective. It is used in cams, gears, electrical components, filters, and valves.
  8. Polyphenylene Sulphide – It is very high in strength, and shows good resistance to heat. It is used in covers, shields, fuel system components, and switches.
  9. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) – It is tough yet flexible, flame resistant, and low in cost. It is used in electrical insulation, and boot soles.

With rapid phase-product development, plastic manufacturers are equipped to produce highly complex plastic equipment for the military to rely on across different operations.

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