Aerospace Injection Molding
As the technology involved in fabrication improves, plastic is becoming more and more prevalent in the aerospace industry. Over the years, components made with advanced polymers have become lighter, stronger and more durable overall. In addition, their heat resistance and flame-retardant qualities have made them very attractive to many OEMs.
Injection molding is ideal for making aerospace components from polymers. Bezels, lenses, air ducts and covers are just some of the parts that could benefit from the speed and consistency of the molding tooling and process. Making mold tools is a specialized aspect of injection molding, and it’s an area where prototyping services offer many benefits. As specialists in plastic injection molding, RevPart offers a range of services to help manufacturers in the aerospace industry bring new products to market in less time.
What Is Aerospace Plastic Injection Molding?
Plastics help aerospace parts manufacturing by taking weight out of products. Modern engineering plastics in particular offer high strength and low density, making them invaluable in weight-sensitive applications.
Aerospace Parts Suitable for Plastic Injection Molding
- Interior trim pieces: Examples include bezels around display screens and lights, air inlets, seat backs and partitions as well as seats, panels and cabin fixtures. The lightweight nature of these elements helps reduce the weight of aircraft to provide higher fuel efficiency.
- Exterior trim: This refers to nonstructural parts such as covers, hubcaps and fairings.
- Structural components: These include load-bearing brackets, wing and rudder components, as well as the airframe itself.
- Ducting and ventilation components: Fabricating these from plastics using injection molding techniques ensures they will be able to withstand extreme temperature changes while also maintaining their structural integrity.
- Electrical enclosures: Modern aircraft depend on highly sensitive electronics that must be protected from the elements at all times. Plastic housings serve to keep these systems safe without contributing much to the overall weight.
Reasons for Choosing Injection or Silicone Molding
In molding processes, the mold cavity determines the final shape while injection speed and pressure determine the consistency between individual pieces. Other benefits of injection or silicone molding for aerospace parts manufacturing include:
- Engineering capabilities: Injection or silicone molding offers the ability to incorporate other components into the mold, such as bushings or screw retainers. This is a technique referred to as overmolding.
- Design flexibility: With injection molding, you have more control over surface texture, finish and appearance.
- Fast and cost-effective: Injection molding machines operate on short cycle times and the parts produced typically require minimal finishing.
- A broad selection of material choices: When you choose aerospace injection molding with RevPart, you gain access to an extensive range of molding options, including materials (ABS, PVC, HDPE, PP, PS and more), colors, finishes and value-added services.
The Role of Plastic Injection Molding and Prototyping
Prototype parts are essential for validating product designs in aerospace parts manufacturing. Some prototypes enable verification of fit and finish while others are needed for functional testing. While dimensionally accurate pieces can be 3D printed or machined from a solid, these options typically lack the look, feel and mechanical properties of molded parts.
Aerospace injection molding and plastic part prototyping offer multiple advantages over the services that other aerospace additive manufacturing companies provide, including:
- Better testing: Get parts made in the actual grades of material specified by the design team that are ready to test.
- Sleeker appearance: Molded parts have the required surface finish and appearance.
- No resolution limitations: Many additive techniques have clear layering that affect the appearance and possibly the function of a component, whereas injection molding does not.
- Production-grade parts: In addition to prototyping, injection molding is ideal for short-run aerospace parts manufacturing with production-grade materials, capable of producing lightweight parts for critical aerospace applications.
Prototyping Services for the Aerospace Industry
RevPart offers the following prototyping services:
- Rapid production molding: Optimizes tooling for rapid delivery of production parts
- Plastic injection molding: Fast turnaround on mold tooling that delivers production-representative parts
- Silicone rubber molding: Produces flexible, resilient and durable silicone parts in just a few days
The RevPart Difference
At RevPart, we specialize in the rapid turnaround of molded parts. Our administrative processes are optimized to get quotes to customers in the quickest time possible, and our design and manufacturing processes are configured for rapid, small-quantity production. If you are in the aerospace parts manufacturing business and need plastic or silicone molded samples or production pieces, we can help. Contact us to discuss your aerospace injection molding project or request a quote today.