Shock-absorbing aircraft hubcaps
If you're wondering where the wheel is in this application, it's the thing going behind a very important hubcap that's been designed to help absorb the extreme stresses regularly placed on aircraft landing gear.When aerospace systems supplier...
October 1, 2010 by Canadian Plastics
If you’re wondering where the wheel is in this application, it’s the thing going behind a very important hubcap that’s been designed to help absorb the extreme stresses regularly placed on aircraft landing gear.
When aerospace systems supplier Crane Aerospace & Electronics developed a new tire pressure monitoring system for the landing gear of Boeing 777 aircraft, they knew they needed a material with high temperature resistance, chemical resistance and mechanical strength for use in the hubcaps.
They selected Victrex PEEK polymer.
“The special combination of properties in the PEEK materials allowed us to successfully displace metals, traditional composites and other plastics not only in this project, but also in a growing number of aerospace applications,” said John Walling, regional business manager for Victrex.
The PEEK material had the added benefit of allowing Crane to carve some weight out of the hubcaps — never a bad thing nowadays. “By specifying PEEK polymer, each hubcap now weighs less than 1.5 lbs.,” said Jeff Tonn, a design engineer at Crane. “With 14 wheels per plane, the weight reduction is considerable.”
A final advantage of the PEEK material, according to Walling, is that it can be easily fabricated into tight tolerance parts. “The hubcaps are injection molded, and a nominal wall thickness of 3.75mm is thick enough to protect the hubcap from high impact events,” he said.
Victrex USA Inc. (West Conshohocken, Pa.)