Other than luggage bins and tray tables, you might not realize how often plastic is used in modern aircraft. However, aerospace plastic is used with increasing frequency in almost every part of aircraft construction — even in military planes. Let's explore a few of the amazing advantages aerospace plastics are offering to the aerospace industry.
Aircraft used to be made of heavier materials like aluminum and rubber, but today aerospace plastics are used for their lightness. Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, or ABS, plastic is the durable, lightweight material used in overhead storage bins. A wide variety of other acrylic and polycarbonate plastics are used for everything from ventilation ducting and seals to landing gear, creating aircraft components up to 10 times lighter than their metal predecessors.
Aircraft can encounter several chemically harsh environments in their day-to-day operations. Plastic for aerospace applications is extremely important to the longevity of the craft, being resistant to many of these corrosive chemicals. Here are a few harsh conditions that aircraft plastics can resist:
- Fire, since many aerospace plastics have low flammability
- Hydrolysis, meaning high levels of steam and pressurized water
- Extremely low temperatures
Aerospace plastics help keep aircraft safe for passengers and operators inside and out.
One of the greatest transportation-related concerns today is creating more sustainable vehicles that rely on clean, renewable energy. Since aerospace plastic is durable, recyclable, and lightweight, it's helped certain aircraft become as fuel-efficient per passenger as a standard family car. While aircraft still burn a lot of fuel in flight, they do it at a much more reasonable rate per passenger than in the past. Aircraft plastics are helping make flight costs much more economical without sacrificing passenger safety.
In Short, Aerospace Plastics Offer These Key Advantages:
- Aircraft plastics are lighter weight than the metals and rubbers of the past
- Plastic for aerospace applications makes aircraft resistant to corrosion and other harsh conditions
- The use of aerospace plastics is making aircraft a "greener" travel option
Learn More With A&C Plastics
Visit our aerospace plastic industry page to explore more of the advantages and features of aerospace plastics. Then, visit our acrylic and polycarbonate category pages to browse our full array of flight-ready plastic sheeting and more.