When boarding your next flight, hopefully headed to a dream destination, take some time to have a look around the cabin… if you pay attention, you will notice how much polyurethane is around you even inside a complex and sophisticated vehicle as an aircraft!
Polyurethane is widely used in transportation applications. Certain industries could not do without polyurethane… and the aircraft industry is one of them.
In our previous articles we discovered how polyurethane can be connected to many different objects that surround us…bikes, sport shoes, insulating panels, sound-absorbing panels, even beehives!
It’s time to find out if polyurethane has some use also above the ground, and namely, in the sky! Keep reading the article to find out more.
Meet Our Team
In Ekosystem, there is one person who knows everything about airplanes and especially about gliders. He is one of the founders of Ekosystem, Mr Angelo Rivolta, CEO and Technical Director. Not only a skilled and experienced polyurethane specialist, our CEO is also a passionate of aviation. This interest led him to study the principles of aviation and become a glider pilot. And surprisingly, his passion for polyurethane is connected to his interest in everything related to flying. Keep reading the article to find out more!
Polyurethane And The Aircraft Industry
How much polyurethane is used in the aircraft industry? Let’s start from the main cabin: flexible polyurethane foam is commonly used in airline seats, as it provides comfort and durability. Armrests, deck pads, dividers between class segments, passengers cabin walls… polyurethane can be found in each of these parts of the aircraft and many more. There are many reasons why the aerospace industry relies so much on polyurethane, and one of them is their versatility: polyurethane is widely recognized as one of the most versatile materials and that is why it is used in multiple applications. In the aircraft industry polyurethane is an example of a material applicable in commercial, private and military aircraft indistinctly. Alongside its versatility, polyurethane is widely used because of its unmatched durability, which makes it the ideal material for airplanes, gliders and other types of aircrafts.
Durable and lightweight: these are other two advantages of polyurethane that make it the material of choice for the aerospace industry. Polyurethane can also protect the aircraft from temperature variations and, thanks to its sound-absorbing properties, it also provides a strong sound barrier to protect the interior of the cabin and the passengers.
Polyurethane In The Space
It is now clear that polyurethane is widely present in the air too… and surprisingly, this is not just about aircraft, but spacecraft too!
Did you know that even NASA implemented the use of polyurethane in space shuttle in the past? The National Areonautics and Space Administration (NASA) chose polyurethane to insulate the external fuel tanks of rockets. The goal was to find the most suitable material to keep the fuel tank insulated from very drastic external temperatures (approx. -217 °C!). The layer of polyurethane used to insulate the tank provided optimum insulation and it does not affect the weight of the fuel tank as it is ultra lightweight and extremely durable. It is now clear that polyurethane is more present in the aircraft than we think… this is one of the specific properties of this material which make it unique compared to other similar materials. Some of this properties are essential to the aircraft industry, such as durability and resistance to abrasion, which make it also a sustainable choice in the long term. This is also why polyurethane is widely used across the entire transportation industry, prominently in the automotive sector, but also in public and commercial transportation, with measurable results in energy savings and weight reduction.
In short, we the benefits that polyurethane can provide have been recognized by the areospace industry too and many critical parts within an airacft are made of polyurethane, especially structural elements inside the cabin. We can certainly say that there is much polyurethane in the sky too!
Get Started With Ekosystem Today
Ekosystem is your best partner to develop the right solution for your needs and help you meet your polyurethane processing goals. Whether you have just a starting idea in mind or a more detailed project to develop, we are here to assist every step of the way. Contact us directly to get started.
If you are just curious about our machinery and services, explore our website and find out more about our high pressure dosing units, low pressure dosing units, complete continuous lines or discontinuous production lines, and turnkey solutions for specific polyurethane applications.