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Latest News How Plastics Impact The Aerospace Industry
Aerospace Custom Cushioning and Packaging

How Plastics Impact
The Aerospace Industry

Aerospace equipment demands extra care and attention when shipping and handling. The transportation of fuselages, engines, and aircraft requires shipment methods that guarantee fast delivery, safety, and accuracy.

As the aerospace industry grows, shipping equipment across the nation and even across borders is becoming more commonplace.  

Custom Cushioning and Packaging 

 Aerospace equipment requires extremely secure packaging because of the nature of the items being shipped. There are various shipping methods available to use when shipping for the aerospace industry.   

Cushioning agents are used to keep the items from moving while in transit. This protects the aerospace equipment from breaking. There are a few things to consider when packaging the aerospace product. You should factor in the transportation method, weight, fragility, dimensions, and transportation destination.  

When packaging aerospace equipment, it is important to use a variety of plastics because each type of plastic has different qualities. Many plastics, for example, resist erosion and high temperatures. They also provide a high level of strength which is very important for protecting aerospace parts when they are being transported.  

Plastic aerospace packaging can be used to overcome a variety of issues that come with transporting aerospace parts such as: 

  • Shock protection 
  • Magnetic Protection 
  • Vibrations 
  • Extreme temperatures and humidity 

Plastic is most ideal for most aerospace packaging requirements because of the resistance to these issues. 

Furthermore, because plastics can be vacuum formed into a variety of different shapes, and molded and trimmed to fit specific components, they are able to protect various aerospace components unlike many other materials such as rubber, wood, and various metals. 


Benefits of Using Plastics 

Plastics are lighter than metals which makes them an ideal choice for a variety of uses, such as protective gear and clothing. Plastic reduces the weight added to equipment and increases safety and agility. There are a few additional benefits to using plastics: 

Freedom of Design and Assembly 

Plastics can be designed with complex geometries. This means that many parts can be assembled using the best method for a particular application. A few examples include heat staking and welding.  

Superior Durability 

Industrial plastics are durable and surpass metals in chemicals, moisture, impact, and heat resistance.  


How Plastics Are Used in Aerospace  

Plastics are widely used in the aerospace industry for a variety of applications. These applications include: 

Interior wall panels and luggage storage compartments 

Airplane panels are made from a plastic called Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS). ABS is ideal for molding into specific shapes. Also, ABS is lightweight and has a strong tensile strength which makes it ideal for interior components.  

Aircraft doors and exterior panels 

The weight of the plane can be greatly reduced when using plastics. Therefore, more aircrafts are being built with plastic components on the interior of the aircraft as well as the exterior. Using plastics also reduces weight and improves fuel efficiency. Plastic on the exterior of the aircraft reduces radiation, extreme temperatures, and pressurizes water and steam.  

Technical components 

Plastics are utilized for small components such as bearings and internal wiring. Using plastics allows designers to create innovative aircraft designs. Engineers can create layouts that are more aesthetically pleasing and ergonomic. Plastic is a lot more malleable than metal which makes it easier to shape and mold into complex shapes.  


Aerospace equipment requires sufficient protection. Plastic is the ideal material to use when shipping and protecting aerospace equipment. Plastics can be used for small components and large equipment. There are many benefits to using plastics including versatility and durability.  

Reef Industries, Inc. manufactures a wide range of high-performance reinforced polyethylene laminates and composite materials for industrial equipment covers and military equipment covers. Reef Industries’ products are engineered for performance, properties such as tear, puncture, and abrasion resistance for rugged durability and formulated for excellent UV resistance, weathering properties, and service life. These products are fabricated into protective covers for equipment and materials in a wide range of industries and businesses.