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Different Applications of Aerospace Foam

Publish Date: April 14, 2020

A primary member of the comprehensive and miscellaneous family of plastics or polymers, Polyurethane can be a solid or can have an open cellular structure. The ones with the open cellular structure is called foam. Such foams can be either flexible or inflexible.

Polyurethane formulations cover an exceptionally wide range of arduousness, stiffness, and densities. These materials comprise of:

1   Low-density elastic foam: It is used in bedding, upholstery, truck seats and other automotive, and unique inorganic plant substrates for wall gardens or roofs.
2   Solid plastics: These materials are used in structural parts and electric instrument bezels 
3   Flexible plastics: They are used as bands and straps
4    Low density elastomers: These elastomers are used in footwear.
5    Cast and injection molded components: These are used in a wide-variety of sectors such as military, agriculture, industrial, and automotive, etc.

Polyurethane foam is widely used in rigid foam insulation panels, high resiliency flexible foam seating, robust elastomeric tires and wheels, microcellular foam seals and gaskets, electrical potting compounds, automotive suspension bushings, carpet underlay, seals, gaskets, and hard plastic parts electronic mechanisms.

The polyurethane foam (PU foam) is used by aerospace industry compared to any other industries. The reason is quite obvious. Polyurethane is adaptable to the atmospheres that most of the other materials don’t. This owes mostly to its versatility during manufacture. 

Polyurethane foam can be designed in a wide-variety of forms. With such varied forms, it becomes able to show its impressive range of properties. This varied range of properties make the foam a backbone in construction sites, oil and gas channels, manufacturing industry and specifically, spacecraft and aircraft. 

Applications of Polyurethane in aerospace

1.    Considered as a wonder of engineering PU foam is broadly used in the sphere of spacecraft and aircraft. The seats of a typical passenger aircraft are embellished with polyurethane or PU foam. 
Apart from this, polyurethane foam is also used in the insulation of the aircraft, its ceilings and walls, baggage sections, and separators between lavatories and class segments. 

Polyurethane foam are also used in similar volumes in military aircrafts. PU foams offer a long-lasting and low-cost material for the airplane. This type of foam can also be amplified with liquids in order to make it really impermeable. Otherwise, it becomes quite effortless to maintain the inner air gravity. There’s no doubt that limiting the air seepage to a minimum level is one of the major priorities in the aviation and aerospace industry.

2.    PU foam also works as a miracle operative for spacecraft. Here’s some history to define it. The PU foam used with its shuttles to the external fuel tanks by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The fuel tanks of NASA are made from a coating of aluminum which is as shrill as 1/8 inch. However, by using the standard one inch of the PU foam, NASA could economically improve the organizational integrity of the fuel tanks, inhibit air infiltration or moisture, and preserve the fuel at optimum temperatures. But, this type of foam used to be so rough that it often lasted impression after being discarded following takeoff.

3.    Specially created with liquid materials, Polyurethane paints are applied to the external surface of the aircrafts to stop air leakage. Such coatings and paints also perfectly resist the coarse forces, which becomes a stern situation to the aircraft that are slashed with debris or equipment. 

4.    Polyurethane materials such as polyurethane elastomers with higher level of rigidity, are prevailed in more than one places all through the space and aircraft. They can be designed as o-rings and seals or can be used for miles of spraying. Polyurethane elastomers are also used in the cockpit of the airplane, where control sticks can be lined or provided a firm base for the control panels. 


Princy A. J

Princy holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the prestigious Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. University at Chennai, India. After a successful academic record, she pursued her passion for writing. A thorough professional and enthusiastic writer, she enjoys writing on various categories and advancements in the global industries. She plays an instrumental role in writing about current updates, news, blogs, and trends.