Fiberglass Trim and Fairing Parts in Aircraft

Since the advent of aircraft, the materials that make them up have undergone constant change. Early aircraft frames were built from wooden planks, and those designs were rendered obsolete when aluminum proved to be much more viable. Now, aircraft manufacturers are slowly integrating plastic and fiberglass trim and fairings due to the high strength to weight ratio of composites. Even the manufacturer Boeing has designed their 787 Dreamliner with 50% of the total materials being composites. Although this trend has been around since the 1950’s, the amount used within a single aircraft is ever growing with new technology and capabilities. With attention slowly turning away from aluminum, could composite parts prove to be the future of aircraft manufacturing?

Composite materials themselves are actually a collection of many individual elements that are combined together to create strength that well surpasses that of the materials by themselves. In terms of aircraft composite manufacturing, the two main materials used to create composites are glass fibers and epoxy resin, creating what is more commonly known as fiberglass. Aircraft plastic such as fiberglass is beneficial because, as stated before, it is very strong despite being lightweight. Fiberglass also has the ability to be molded into many complex shapes, some that materials such as aluminum are incapable of. Having composites replace the aluminum parts can bring many other benefits to your aircraft as well. With fiberglass, less fuel is needed due to less weight, composites are less prone to corrosion and wear, and composites warp much less than metals. With these benefits, it’s easy to see why manufacturers are gaining interest in them.

Composites do have their drawbacks, however, and they should be taken into account when making a decision. Composites have a high entry level cost, as they are quite complicated to manufacture. As their cost does become cheaper over time with fuel efficiency and maintenance, a balance could potentially be struck that could make them worthwhile to some. Fiberglass also lacks the conductivity that aluminum features, thus manufacturers such as Boeing have found ways to fix this problem, such as encapsulating wire meshes within the composites. Lastly, fiberglass is more susceptible to heat as compared to metals and care should be taken with placement and heat management around these parts.

Some parts that can be replaced or created with composites for an aircraft are the trim and fairings. Fiberglass trim and fairing parts can allow for the same reduction of drag and appearance enhancement, all while increasing strength and trimming down weight. Plastic and fiberglass trim and fairings include parts such as the assembly strut, brake cover, fin cap assembly, fuel strainer, and many more important components. Having ready made composites saves the time of having to mold and produce unique parts, and as fiberglass becomes more widespread and accepted, more parts will be readily available for purchase. Sometimes, the fitting of the fiberglass trim and fairing parts may not fit perfectly on your aircraft, or you may have a desire to modify them for specific applications. When you need to modify fiberglass parts, trimming and grinding carefully can be sufficient to achieve what you need. If considerable trimming was done, gaps can be filled in with materials and then glassed over.

No matter your need for aircraft plastic parts or composite components, we at NSN Axis have you covered. NSN Axis is owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, and we can help you find fiberglass trim and fairings parts you are searching for, new or obsolete. As a premier supplier of parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries, we're always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7x365. ASAP Semiconductor is an FAA AC 00-56B accredited and ISO 9001:2015 certified enterprise. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at sales@nsnaxis.com or call us at +1-269-264-4495.

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