Plastics maker is cleared for take off

Airbus has approved a Victrex plastic for use.
Airbus has approved a Victrex plastic for use.
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A Thornton chemical company has consolidated its place in the aerospace world after securing a vital approval for one of its products.

Victrex, which employs around 300 people at its plant the Hillhouse site, has secured the qualification of its Victrex PEEK 90HMF40 polymer with Airbus.

One of its range of PEEK thermoplastics, this new grade of polymer can now be used in the construction of aircraft.

Victrex said it was a high flow, easy processing material which can be just as strong as stainless steel, titanium, and aluminium but 70 per cent lighter. Harald Hedderich, Victrex’s aerospace strategic marketing manager said the company was pleased with this development, which underlined the growing use of PEEK polymers in the aerospace and in other industries

He said: “Removing as little as 45 kilograms can result in up to US$10,000 in annual fuel cost savings per long-range plane. We are excited for the opportunities that the polymer’s qualification can bring given airline demands to improve fuel efficiency.

“These high mechanical properties, its ability to perform across a broad temperature range and its durability in chemically aggressive environments allows our polymers to continue to be a material of choice for the aerospace industry.”

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