While fuel housings for aerospace applications are traditionally designed in metal, Egmond Plastics (Alkmaar, Netherlands) has developed a proprietary technology enabling them to be produced from high-performance engineering plastic materials. This technology, called fusible-core technology, allows for undercuts in injection molding. Combined with the use of carbon-fiber-reinforced grades of Victrex PEEK polymer, the technology has achieved cost savings of over 30% and weight savings of up to 50% in the production of these complex fuel housings for the global aircraft industry, according to Egmond.
In the past, aluminum had generally been specified for the production of fuel-containing parts. However, not only does carbon-fiber-reinforced PEEK offer superior fatigue performance compared with aluminum, it also meets all the engineering requirements for this application, including stiffness, effective flame, smoke and toxicity (FST) performance, and resistance to aggressive chemicals, including to jet fuel and Skydrol hydraulic fluid.