Popular Plastics in the Aerospace Industry

Plastics are an extremely important part of the aerospace industry, having been commonly used ever since 1970. Plastics excel at reducing weight and improving fuel efficiency, two major considerations in aircraft design, with components for propulsion, navigation, structural elements, and interior all made out of plastic materials. In this blog, we’ll explore five types of plastics commonly used by aircraft manufacturers.

The first is polyetheretherketone, the preferred polymer of the aerospace industry. Polyetheretherketone is commonly used in conditions where exposure to low temperatures and atmospheric particles frequently occurs, and is often used in pump gears and valve seals. It can also withstand high amounts of radiation and has great resistance against hydrolysis, allowing it to survive high pressures of water and steam without degrading.

Polyamide-imide, or PAI, is commonly used in place of metal components, due to being chemical and radiation-resistant, as well as flame-retardant. Even when burning, PAI does not give off smoke, making it ideal for applications where there is a risk of fire.

Polychlorotrifluoroethylene, or PCTFE, is typically used in or around corrosive environments. A fluorochemical plastic with strong physical and mechanical properties, it is also chemical and fire resistant, and boasts low moisture absorption. PCTFE can tolerate temperature extremes of -400 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

Typically used to insulate cables and wires within an aircraft, polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE, is a fluorocarbon polymer and electrical insulator. With high tear resistance, low flammability, and the ability to retain its properties in aerospace conditions, PTFE is a favored choice for protecting wiring and connectors inside an aircraft.

Lastly is thermosetting polyimide, a commonly used plastic in structural applications. Typically seen in insulators and electrical spacers for threaded nuts and other components, thermosetting polyimide has high chemical resistance and excellent mechanical properties, with higher ductility than ceramics and lower weight than metals.

At Just NSN Parts, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the aircraft plastic parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at sales@justnsnparts.com or call us at +1-714-705-4780.


December 20, 2022
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