For Aerospace Applications, Go With Thermoset Compression Molding

Thermoset plastics are a great substitute for metal when fabricating many industrial parts due to their thermal, mechanical and electrical characteristics. They are thermally and electrically insulating, possess excellent dimensional stability and mechanical strength, and do not corrode or degrade easily when exposed to moisture, chemicals or sunlight. Molding thermoset plastic parts is more cost-effective than fabricating and machining metal parts since both the raw materials and the molding process are cheaper.

Close tolerance compression molding of thermoset composite materials produces lightweight parts that have greater strength and rigidity than metal parts. This process is quite amenable for making custom components with strict dimensional specifications. Parts made with thermoset compression molding retain their mechanical characteristic at high temperatures. All these properties make thermoset compression-molded parts an ideal choice for aerospace applications.

Why Choose Compression Molded Parts for the Aerospace Industry?

Parts for the aerospace industry need to meet exceptionally stringent safety and reliability criteria over a wide range of environmental conditions and operational stresses. The aerospace industry is adopting thermoset compression molded parts due to the following features:

  • Dimensionally stable over a wide range of operating temperatures
  • Lighter, stronger, and improved performance over many metal parts
  • Excellent sound dampening properties
  • Low thermal expansion coefficient
  • Low flammability
  • Water and corrosion resistant
  • Lower material/labor costs

In addition to these benefits, compression molding can easily create complicated single-unit parts that would be impossible to make with metal fabrication techniques. Using metal typically necessitates joining several individually made metal components to form larger or more complex parts.

MCM Composites Is Your Source for Compression Molding

MCM Composites is your ideal source for thermoset compression molded parts for the aerospace industry. We are adept at molding aerospace parts with complex designs and complicated details. As such, we welcome the opportunity to take on projects that use rare materials or innovative designs.

The following case study illustrates our aerospace part capabilities:

The project involved the manufacturing of a complex emergency oxygen housing unit that needed to comply with the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) requirements for smoke and toxicity.

This part was made from a special material, Sheet Molded Compound (SMC), using thermoset compression molding and automated machining. The tolerance was just +/- 0.001″ on the overall dimensions of 18″ x 12″ x 0.45″. We post-processed the parts with de-flashing and deburring. Quality control involved in-process dimensional and visual inspections to confirm that the finished parts met the customer’s CAD design specifications.

As dictated by the schedule, we successfully delivered 500 finished units in only two weeks. This has been our most complex compression molding job to date. Many factors contributed to the success of the project: MCM Composites’ expert team, the exceptional quality standards of our ISO 9001:2000 certifications, and our dedication to executing projects with professionalism.

MCM Composites was founded in 1983 and has serviced clients in the United States and around the world. We undertake small batch custom parts or large quantity production runs in excess of 1 million parts. Our employees, our facilities and our processes are capable of meeting customer requirements no matter how stringent they may be. MCM Composites will work with you to select the best material and suppliers for your needs and we gladly undertake projects that require special materials or innovative processes.

Contact or request a quote to learn more about our capabilities for thermoset compression molded parts for aerospace or any other industrial application.