Reading Plastic & Metal is proud to provide aircraft plastics for the ever-growing aerospace industry. Plastics have been featured in aircrafts for decades, primarily as interior parts such as tray tables, windows, overhead bins, etc. With the rise of modern advanced plastics, more and more critical aircraft parts are being converted from metal to plastic. That is because plastics can deliver superior aircraft parts that can withstand the harshest environments and conditions while offering increased strength and reliability.
Benefits of Aircraft Plastics
As science and technology forges forward in innovation, the use of precision plastics in the aerospace industry has risen. This is due to the various benefits of plastic over any other material. For example:
- Increased structural strength – Today’s advanced plastic composites perform as well as – and sometimes better than – metal in terms of strength. Plastics tend to have both a higher strength-to-weight ratio and a higher strength-to-stiffness ratio than their traditional metal counterparts.
- Reduced weight – Plastic parts weigh up to 50% less than aluminum parts, and are up to 6 times lighter than steel. Reducing the overall weight of a plane means greater fuel efficiency and lower fuel costs. In fact, an airplane saves $1,000 in fuel over its lifetime for each pound of weight reduced.
- Greater design options – The flexibility of plastic allows engineers and manufacturers to design and produce complex parts, especially those that require tight tolerances. Advanced plastics are also beneficial for prototyping because they reduce the costs and time involved.
- Improved product life – Unlike metal parts, plastic parts don’t rust or oxidize, and many are not affected by acids or base compounds. Most advanced plastic materials have greater chemical resistance than metals, and can endure higher temperatures without warping or damage. With precision machining, plastics can hold extremely tight tolerances, ensuring optimal operation and longer product life.
- Eliminate costly and time-consuming secondary operations – There are numerous ways to simplify secondary operations with plastic parts. For example, plastic stock can be dyed and hot stamped with the company logo, skipping over secondary painting operations. Components can also be designed to snap together, eliminating the need for welded joints and fasteners.
Uses for Aircraft Plastics
Plastic is found in every facet of an aircraft, including:
- Engine – As the heart of the aircraft, an engine supplies the mechanical power that allows the plane to move.
- Avionics – These electrical systems – which include communications, navigation, and the display and management of multiple systems – are the brain of an aircraft. These systems provide vital information to the pilots, making reliability a must. Military-grade plastics can protect these systems from heat, corrosion, and electromagnetic interference.
- Sensors – A series of receptors that gather information about the condition of the plane and the world outside it and relay that information. With precision machined plastic parts, sensors can endure harsh military applications.
- Airframe – The airframe supports the aircraft. An airframe needs to be strong but lightweight. High-end plastics offer high tensile and flexural strength on par with metal but at a fraction of the weight.
- Connectors – These parts must be flexible yet durable enough to withstand constant environmental and mechanical stress. Military-grade plastics are rust and corrosion resistant and can withstand rapid temperature and air pressure changes without warping.
- Seating – Seating is a critical factor in survivability. A well-designed seat helps absorb energy during an impact and protects the occupant from head injury.
Trust Reading Plastic & Metal for Your Next Aerospace Project
At Reading Plastic we have been producing superior aircraft parts in compliance with Aviation Standards for over 30 years. From high-performance seals and gears, to bushings, cams, and rollers, we can produce the reliable specialty parts you require. Call us today at 610-926-3245 to put our expertise to work for you.