There Simply Is No Substitute
Every time there is an accident in the air, the tragedy flashes across the news wires in a matter of minutes. Most recently, a Blackhawk Helicopter exploded and we lost 11 of our Marine and Army troops. Most certainly we can all list a number of other incidents in the past year where many more lives have been lost. The cause of each and every incident is studied to the greatest possible lengths in order to improve safety and overall, air travel is extremely safe. I personally fly thousands of miles each year to visit customers and my wife is a former flight attendant who recently retired after a long career. But, no matter how safe flying is, it never lessens the loss when tragedy occurs.
Knowing the aerospace industry as I do I cannot help but think just how many people today are full of worry over every detail of a downed aircraft like the Blackhawk Helicopter, or the plane that slide off the runway in New York. What was the cause, was it a part failure, weather? Teams will do their absolute best to find out.
My work with engineering plastic materials at AIN Plastics, and DuPont™ Vespel® in particular, takes me to many aerospace facilities. Recently I was visiting a facility that makes the transmission and drive train components that are used in many of today’s military helicopters. Every time I visit one of these facilities I must say I am amazed and impressed at the amount of testing and technology that goes into each and every one of these components.
For good reason, plastics like DuPont™ Vespel® have become a common component in many aerospace applications. They help with weight reduction, reduce the need for lubrication, and increase the efficiency of the systems. In some cases engineering plastics outperform traditional metals.
Make Sure It’s the Real Deal
Every time I hear a news report about an incident with an aircraft I truly hope that the failure was not caused by somebody taking a specification from an aircraft or aerospace customer and deciding to substitute a less expensive material that seems to be equivalent in place of the OEM specified material. Throughout my years in the plastics industry I have seen this happen. Sometimes it may be done innocently enough with the thought they are getting something equivalent but saving a few dollars. However substitutions occur if an OEM specification is not met it can become a huge issue for the machine shop that made the part if or when part failure occurs.
Please, make sure that when DuPont™ Vespel® is specified on a print by an OEM that you validate that your supplier is selling you Authentic DuPont™ Vespel® material. Time and again places have found it is worth working with an authorized distributor like AIN Plastics to ensure they get the real deal. I am very proud to say that AIN Plastics has a long history of being an Authorized Distributor and we stock only authentic DuPont™ Vespel®.
Sales and Marketing Manager
ThyssenKrupp Materials NA
AIN Plastics Division