Plastic Grows in Popularity for Aerospace Component Manufacturing

Plastic Grows in Popularity for Aerospace Component Manufacturing

Plastic Grows in Popularity for Aerospace Component Manufacturing

While steel was once the only material of choice for aerospace component manufacturing, the arrival of high strength aluminum alloys revolutionized the field. Now polymers, including both traditional thermoplastics and cutting edge composites, are once again shaking up aerospace component manufacturing. If you’re a supplier of polymer molding and cutting services, a 3D printing subcontractor, or an aerospace component manufacturing firm in need of help, you need to understand why plastics are finally making their breakthrough in the aerospace component manufacturing industry.

Rising Temperature Resistance for Greater Aerospace Component Manufacturing Options

The constant exposure to both extremely hot and cold environments has made it challenging to use polymers and plastics for aerospace component manufacturing in the past. Many aerospace component manufacturing plastic materials become brittle when cold and deform when hot, whether the heat is generated through direct friction on a landing part or proximity to high powered jets.

Advancements over the last few years allow many traditional plastics to handle greater temperature variations, while the majority of new composites provide the range of temperature resistance necessary for aerospace component manufacturing. Expect to see new polymers and composite formulas released each year to meet growing demand within the aerospace component manufacturing industry.

Advanced Corrosion Control in Aerospace Component Manufacturing

One of the biggest reasons that aerospace component manufacturing companies are switching to plastic materials within the aerospace component manufacturing market is to take advantage of greater corrosion resistance. While aluminum is naturally more corrosion resistant than basic steel, most polymers are still far more chemical and corrosion resistant than either type of metallic alloy.

The most widely used plastics currently in demand for aerospace component manufacturing all offer superior resistance to the corrosive effects of lubricants, fuels, and similar fluids required for aerospace operations. Switching to parts with a higher corrosion resistance reduces both the chance of sudden malfunctions and the need for routine replacement of limited lifespan parts.

Latticed and Reinforced 3D Printed Parts

The first few generations of 3D printed industrial parts lacked the strength and durability needed for aerospace component manufacturing. Yet each successive generation of industrial 3D printing equipment has expanded the opportunities for reinforcing and stabilizing plastic parts. Plastic aerospace component manufacturing with 3D printing reduces the development and manufacturing costs significantly, and the durability necessary for aerospace component manufacturing is provided with latticing and similar reinforcements built into the design itself.

Internal and external lattice reinforcements prevent warping and deformation during the aerospace component manufacturing process and while the components are under high stress in real world situations. With multiple options for shaping plastics for aerospace component manufacturing, you can put these reinforcement techniques to good use regardless of the technique you choose.

Self-Lubrication for Easier Aerospace Component Manufacturing

Switching to polymers and plastics for certain aerospace component manufacturing demands can also result in higher quality finished systems. For example, many polymer materials are self-lubricating when exposed to friction or heat. This reduces the need for routine lubrication and cleaning of essential jet, engine, and control system parts, giving your aerospace component manufacturing products a longer lifespan. Your clients will appreciate your attempts to make each part your aerospace component manufacturing company provides as durable and self-maintaining as possible, especially when you can dramatically reduce the maintenance requirements between part replacement.

Structural Aerospace Component Manufacturing vs Body Panels

There is one part of aerospace component manufacturing that is still struggling to embrace the use of plastic materials. While plastic aerospace component manufacturing works well for structural and internal parts, it hasn’t been perfected quite yet for producing external body panels.

Composite plastic materials have been found that offer the right amount of durability and temperature resistance, but they still cost substantially more to produce than traditional aluminum body panels. This may change over the next few years, especially as 3D printing techniques expand the options for aerospace component manufacturing. For now, molded and extruded plastic body panels simply can’t compete with the routine aerospace component manufacturing methods used for creating metal body panels.

It’s never too late to add plastics to your aerospace component manufacturing business. If you’re looking for help, check the European Subcontracting Network for aerospace component manufacturing specialists that provide polymer molding, cutting, and 3D printing services.