For an aircraft to perform with an optimal fuel economy and efficient speeds, engineers have to amply balance strength-to-weight ratios of components to ensure that they are capable of withstanding stressors while minimizing the overall weight of the vehicle. As a result, metals like titanium and aluminum are regularly used for their high strength and low weight. Plastic is also a material that has sharply risen in popularity since the 1970s, due to its ability to match the strength of metal while being much lighter. In this blog, we will discuss the airplane parts that are most commonly produced with plastics, allowing you to better understand how engineers are increasing performance and mitigating fuel costs for modern aircraft.
Airframe and Structures
As engineers discover new ways in which plastics may be produced and implemented on aircraft, many airframes, wing structures, fuselages, fairings, and empennages have begun being constructed with such materials. The plastics used for the airframe and aircraft structures are specifically designed with high tensile and flexural strength that matches the qualities of metal while being a fraction of the weight.
Bearings and Bushings
With numerous moving assemblies within an aircraft, it is important that bearings and bushings are used for reducing friction and facilitating motion. With high-quality plastics, bearings and bushings can be lightweight while providing high wear resistance and low friction. This is highly beneficial for ensuring a long service life of such crucial components, and to ensure that there are decreased safety risks if the bearings and bushings lose lubrication.
The avionics instrument panel is where the most important electrical systems are, those of which provide flight-pertinent information to pilots throughout an operation. With the use of plastic, the instrument panel can protect vital components from heat, corrosion, electromagnetic interference, and other detrimental forces.
While structures like the airframe or components like avionics require robust qualities to meet required performance and safety standards, many fixtures within the cabin can be replaced with plastic materials to save weight. These include tray tables, canopies, arm rests, and other parts that are present within the cabin interior. Generally, these parts are made with cleanliness, durability, and low smoke emissions in mind.
Electrical system assemblies and components are another area that can take advantage of plastics, and clips, fasteners, and splines can be constructed with such materials to achieve flexibility and durability. Furthermore, the aerospace plastics utilized for electrical system assemblies are made to withstand environmental and mechanical stress as a result of pressure changes, temperature fluctuations, and more.
Beyond such examples, engineers have also utilized plastics for propulsion systems, valve components, and other various airplane parts. If you find yourself in need of replacement airframes, bushing components, door fairing products, and more, let the experts at ASAP NSN Parts help you source everything you require with unmatched pricing and rapid lead-times. With our online RFQ service, customers can request quotes on items that they are interested in for their comparisons with ease. As team members are always available around the clock, responses to quote requests will always be given within 15 minutes of receiving a completed form. Experience the future of part procurement today when you fill out and submit an RFQ through our website!
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