Plastic Engineered Aerospace Components Help Cut Down Expenditure
The aerospace industry is in constant need for lighter, faster, economical solutions. Engineered plastic is a commonly used material for most parts. This is because engineered plastic is durable and strong. At the same time, it is extremely lightweight, which helps reduce the fuel consumption of the application. All of these advantages of plastic render it an economical solution for the aerospace industry.
Several reinforced plastic materials and high performance polymers have replaced metal, the more conservative choice of material used to manufacture parts. Materials like PEEK (Polyether Ether Ketone), PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene), Polyethylene, ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) are commonly used to produce components for the aerospace industry.
Need for Lighter Components: Case Study
Ever since fuel prices have been escalating, the need for cost cutting has been on the rise. Aerospace engineers are now replacing metal with lighter options like aluminum and plastics to reduce fuel consumption. Consider the following Boeing 787 case study:
The Boeing 787, also known as the Dreamliner, uses composite material to manufacture most of its components. Around 80% of the Dreamliner is made up of composite materials. Of all the materials used to manufacture the components, around half of it is composite. Composite is used in the doors, fuselages, engine components, and more. This results in more fuel efficiency, with 20% less fuel consumption per passenger when compared to other aircrafts.
Most plastic components are manufactured to be self-lubricating. This reduces need for maintenance and compensates for human error/ oversight. Safety and quality standards also increase with the incorporation of plastic components in the engines and the interiors. Plastic can easily weather harsh environments and climate changes. They are durable and fatigue resistant.
Plastic components are used in aircrafts and other aerospace applications to reduce operational as well as production costs. It also increases part reliability and safety standards.