The Airbus A319 was the first commercial
aircraft to dare to have a non-metallic
leading edge on its wings — it used a PPS/
woven carbon fiber composite. However,
since its first flight, the advancement in
the use of thermoplastics within the airframe,
engine and auxiliary systems of
commercial aircraft in Europe and the
United States has been slow, but steady.
In the 1970s, commercial airline objectives were weight reduction, increased safety factors, lower manufacturing costs and reduced maintenance schedules. To fulfill these goals, aerospace engineers looked to thermoplastic material manufacturers and component suppliers.
• Plastics are changed into useful shapes by using many different processes. The processes that are used to mold or shape thermoplastics basically soften the plastic material so it can be injected into a mold, extruded through a die or formed in or over a mold.
• Some of the more common processes are injection molding, extrusion, blow molding, rotational molding, calendering, thermoforming (which includes vacuum forming) and casting.
• Thermosets must use a process that allows the material to flow to the desired shape and then become polymerized or cross-linked and rigid.
Sustainability of plastic: Did you know…
• Thermoplastic and thermoset materials both fall under the broad category of Polymers. The biggest difference between a thermoplastic and thermoset is that a thermoplastic can be recycled.
• Thermoplastics can go through melting/freezing cycles repeatedly and the fact that they can be reshaped upon reheating gives them their name. This quality makes thermoplastics recyclable.
• The processes required for recycling vary with the thermoplastic. The most commonly recycled thermoplastics are PE, PP, PS and PVC.
Introduction to Plastics is more than an introduction
It's everything you need to know about more than 50 plastic materials commonly used today in industry, signage and visual merchandising, building and construction, and pipe, valves and fittings. This book provides such details about plastics as:
- Their comparative properties
- How they're made
- Appropriate applications
- Processing and fabrication techniques
Get to know your distributor
IAPD distributors are your best source for finding materials for your application. Go to www.iapd.org to find a distributor in your area. You can search by company name, location or product category.
The IAPD Magazine digital edition launches
IAPD is pleased to announce the launch of the digital edition ofThe IAPD Magazine. The digital issue is easy to read on computers, laptops and tablet devices and can even be viewed on smartphones.