High Performance Polymers in the Aerospace and Automotive Sectors

Light-weighting and fuel efficiency targets drive the need for OEMs to explore new venues for replacing metals and thermosets
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Published: 25 Apr 2018

Considering the global trends in automotive and aerospace focusing on improving fuel efficiency and reducing carbon footprint, these polymers can offer new possibilities in performance by replacing metals. However, it is a challenge to make the right choice of polymer grade for a specific end-use application due to the complexities involved in material selection, design and processing so as to achieve equivalent or better performance as metals at a competitive price. This research service titled “High Performance Polymers for Automotive and Aerospace Industries (TechVision)” discusses the Top 12 High Performance Polymers that are considered as an alternative to metals in automotive and aerospace industries. We present a benchmarking analysis of these polymers based on factors that affect their attractiveness in end-use industries. Factors such as functional capabilities, strength, durability, processability and price are evaluated for each polymer. Polymers evaluated include PEEK, PI, PAI, PEI, PFA, PSU, PESU, PPSU, PVDF, PPA, PPS and LCP. Key properties of each polymer that act as indicators for performance factors are identified and presented in detail. Assessment of needs from different application segments in both automotive and aerospace industries is carried out to identify gaps. A listing of key innovations, stakeholder initiatives and patent filing trends from both automotive and aerospace industries is included to give an indication of the road ahead and companies to watch in the next 2-3 years.

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