Request a free quote
die cutting materials

The Aerospace and Aviation Industry

Throughout the aerospace sector, technological advances make it imperative for designers, developers and engineers to stay abreast of constant innovations. At American Micro Industries, we’ve helped our clients implement solutions for custom aerospace industry components since the mid-1990s. Today, the industry is thriving better than ever thanks to the following materials.

Dielectric Materials

Dielectric materials are an important part of custom die cut components for aerospace industry arsenals.

Dielectric materials are an important part of custom die cut components for aerospace industry arsenals. The purpose of dielectric material isn’t to conduct electricity, but to polarize it. Such material helps to block interference by channeling signals and preventing them from straying. Therefore, dielectric materials like the following examples are often used for capacitors and transmission lines:

  • Plastic stock with adjusted dielectric constant. Plastic stock is used on a range of applications that necessitate adjusted dielectric constant. The material offers low-loss tangent, and it’s generally good for various components that are used daily in the aerospace industry. Certain variations of the material consist of high temperature-threshold plastic for more intense settings.
  • Low dielectric constant, low-loss sheet stock. This material consists of a rigid syntactic foam that boasts a fine texture. With its strong physical properties, it’s easily applicable for CNC machining for aerospace industry components. The material is often used for antennas and coaxial support. Coils equipped with this material generally perform better.
  • Low-loss polystyrene sheet and rod stock. This material is made of cross-linked polystyrene – a thermosetting plastic. As such, the material doesn’t melt in hot conditions. Polystyrene sheet is most often used for antenna insulators and microwave lenses, as well as for various parts along transmission lines and waveguides.
  • Lightweight artificial dielectric material. Consisting of epoxy plastic resins, in addition to glass microspheres, artificial dielectric materials are used for various aerospace industry components. Examples of items on which the material is often applied include antenna parts, bars, cast plate and assorted aircraft parts
  • Low dielectric constant, low-loss structural foam. This material is valued for its high compression quality, as well as for its pure strength. Structural foam of this nature has a low-loss factor, and it works as a thermal barrier and radio frequency window material, which makes the material a vital part of precision manufacturing for aerospace industry components.
  • Flexible, low-loss foam. Consisting of closed-cell flexible foam sheets, this type of material is suited for applications that need dielectric substrates. Low-loss foam is commonly used for radio frequency transparent radomes because of the material’s weatherproof quality. In addition to its lack of water absorption, the crack-proof material is good at withstanding sunlight.
  • Flexible, weatherproof low-signature plastic fabric. This material is made of nylon fabric and is covered with an elastomeric binder that resembles polychloroprene. As such, the material is sharp to the eye and easy to maintain. Thin, workable and water-resistant, the material can stand up to UV rays, and it also has solid mechanical properties.
  • Rigid foam liquid polyurethane. This material originates from liquid resins, which expand into a solid polyurethane plastic foam that boasts solid electrical properties. The material is chiefly used for cavity filling in microwave components and other electronics, including waveguides. However, the material is moisture-sensitive, so it must be stored in sealed nitrogen purged containers.
  • Lightweight syntactic foams. Syntactic foams of the lightweight variety are made for curing operations. The main purpose for such material is to stop resin from flowing into blocks that have already been cured. Additionally, the material is suited for parts that need to be encapsulated, because the thermal-shrinkage factor is minimal.
  • Cyanate ester syntactic foams. Material of this variety is highly convenient for custom components in the aerospace industry, because it’s made in several variations, including uncured and cured sheet stock, which are molded into shape. With metallic fillers, the dielectric parameters of this material can even be adjusted for a broader range of options.

At American Micro Industries, we strive to stay abreast of the material needs of the aerospace sector. In doing so, we constantly look for new ways to innovate in the implementation of custom components for aerospace industry products. Thankfully, the variety of dielectric materials that are currently available has provided the industry with numerous options on how to make components better.

Evening view of a passenger plane wing with engine.

Honeycomb

When it comes to precision manufacturing for aerospace industry components, honeycomb is an essential material in flat sheet and pyramidal form. Three different types of the flat-sheet kind exist – HCGR (Graded Reflectivity), HCGI (Graded Insertion Loss) and HCUI (Uniform Insertion Loss). The material is commonly used for the purpose of bulk absorption and antenna isolation:

  • Broadband honeycomb absorbers. Consisting of phenolic material of either the Nomex or glass variety, honeycomb features a hexagonal, open-cell structure that makes it solid at a minimum of weight. As such, the lossy-coated material is suited for covers, fairings and other aircraft parts.
  • Honeycomb pyramidal absorber. High-power absorbers that consist of pyramidal plastic honeycomb are specially treated for some of the more crucial custom aerospace industry components. With its unique design, the material allows for functions that wouldn’t be possible with other types of material used in aircraft.

Custom components for aerospace industry designs will often call for honeycomb material. Depending on the specs of a given design, flat or pyramidal versions of the material might be in order. In any case, the open-cell structure allows for functions that simply can’t be achieved with other types of material.

Radio Frequency Suppression

Radio frequency suppression materials are made to reduce electromagnetic waves that resonate inside cavities. In the form of sheets, these materials can be custom die-cut according to the specs of designs. Radio frequency suppression materials are made with adhesive backing of a pressure-sensitive strength. Alternately, stronger adhesive backings can also be chosen for settings where conditions are more severe. Examples include the following materials, which are often applied to custom components for aerospace industry arsenals:

  • Tuned-frequency magnetic sheet absorbers. In the world of aerospace, sheet absorbers of the tuned-frequency magnetic variety can be invaluable for a number of functions. Due to their thin quality and flexible nature, the material is typically used for nose cones and ship masts, and also to attach various components to aircraft structures.
  • High-loss magnetic sheet absorbers for surface waves. Absorbers of this kind are made of soft material, which is either die-cut or razor-cut. Consisting of silicone, high-loss magnetic sheet absorbers have the power to withstand a range of temperatures as well as to endure harsh weather conditions. Thin and applicable to contours, the material has superior dielectric strength.
  • 800 MHz tuned magnetic sheet absorbers. These are used to line the walls inside cavities to reduce modal resonance. Magnetic sheet absorbers of this kind are commonly applied in enclosed devices. Additionally, the material is ideal for the small chambers that are used for the testing of device emissions.
  • High-loss silicone rubber sheet absorber. Sheet absorbers of the high-loss silicone variety consist of soft material that is cut by razors as well as with die machines. Consisting of silicone rubber, the material has the strength to endure a vast range of temperatures, and it can also withstand the outside elements. Additionally, the material can conform well to curved surfaces due to its thin, elastomeric qualities.
  • Flexible iron and silicone high-loss stock. When it comes to radio frequency suppression in the aerospace and aviation industry, flexible high-loss stock made from iron and silicone is invaluable for numerous applications, such as for coaxial lines and microstrip circuits. The material is also effective at reducing the cavities and suppressing undesired resonances.
  • High-loss UHF absorber sheet. Another one of the more flexible options in the radio frequency suppression category is the high-loss UHF absorber sheet, which is also strong enough to endure a range of weather conditions and temperatures. Thanks to the material’s ability to conform to complex shapes and bond with metal surfaces, UHF absorber sheets are helpful for custom aerospace industry components.
  • Flexible broadband magnetic sheet absorbers. Made of thin, silicone microwave rubber, this material is applied to the surfaces of metal to reduce radio frequency currents. Magnetic sheet absorbers of this kind can also be used to modify the pattern of antennas, and it can even serve as an attenuator of transmission lines.
  • Broadband magnetic microwave absorber. A flexible sheet material with the power to absorb over a wide range of angles. Broadband absorber material can handle a range of temperatures and weather conditions. It can also conform to a variety of shapes and surfaces, including metal.
  • Iron loaded epoxies. For curing at room temperature, filled epoxy resins are helpful when it comes to the treatment of components in the aerospace industry. On items that benefit from the use of epoxy resins, the substance provides sufficient coverage.

With custom die cut components for aerospace industry operations, a range of materials are needed to deal with the factors involved in such environments. With their unique qualities, radio suppression materials have helped the industry advance with each new revolution in aerospace engineering, and American Micro Industries has remained on top of these changes for more than 20 years.

Custom Aerospace Components From American Micro Industries

If you need a custom aerospace component, get in touch with American Micro Industries. As a premier components manufacturer, we take pride in our custom capabilities, particularly our custom machining services. We offer the following CNC machining services for our machined components:

  • Rigid foam machining
  • Carving foam machining
  • Phenolic machining
  • CNC machine turning
  • CNC machine milling
  • CNC screw machining
  • Plastic machining

When you work with American Micro Industries, we take care of the custom machining ourselves. We have full in-house capabilities that allow us to oversee component creation from beginning to end, ensuring a seamless communication flow and a consistent design and fabrication approach. You’ll gain peace of mind of knowing some of the most experienced professionals in the business are creating your parts and doing all we can to ensure their high performance in critical aerospace and aviation applications.

Contact American Micro Industries for Aerospace Industry Solutions

Out of all the forms of travel, the greatest miracle of human engineering has been aviation. But for humans to travel at such high altitudes, the design and construction of aircraft must be held to the highest possible standards.

At American Micro Industries, we’ve helped clients from the field develop solutions for custom aerospace industry components for more than 20 years. To learn more about what we can do for your operation, visit one of our services pages. Or contact us today to get started on a custom order.