Paris Air Show

Sky’s the limit for plastic maker’s aerospace line

 - December 13, 2006, 6:57 AM

Plastic thermoforming specialist Dedienne Plasturgie, a sibling of Dedienne Aerospace, manufacturer of aircraft maintenance, tooling and ground support equipment, is in the business of replacing conventional aircraft metallic parts with plastic versions, integrating several functions. This translates into fewer, lighter parts.

The replacements work for parts made of either ferrous or nonferrous alloys. For example, a single plastic part can replace three or four aluminum ones. A typical application for Dedienne might be low-pressure ducting for carrying hydraulic fluids, air or water. The company has adapted automotive technology to the aerospace sector developing a plastic-made air intake for piston engines on light aircraft.

The company also offers plastic connectors coated with metal and Teflon as replacement for aluminum units, yielding a 50-percent weight reduction. Dedienne has supplied such components to equipment manufacturer Zodiac Aerazur for the Airbus A380 program.

The firm also has research-and-development expertise in rheology, that is, flow technology. For example, it can simulate the process of filling a mold. In addition, it has been developing software to give a material’s precise specifications, replacing the strain gauge-testing phase. The software even integrates thermal expansion coefficients.

Based at Ménilles in northwestern France, the company currently employs approximately 250 people.