The Best Plastics for the Aerospace Industry

Aerospace components face challenging conditions that demand precision and durability. CNC-machined plastic components can meet requirements for tight tolerances and feature high-performing characteristics that have revolutionized manufacturing for aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and related aerospace technologies. Plastics used for CNC-machined aerospace components should be:

  • Lightweight to provide increased fuel efficiency
  • Highly durable to withstand harsh operating conditions
  • Resistant to general wear, temperature, and chemical exposure
  • Compliant with material specifications and regulations for the industry
  • Meet requirements for factors specific to your project

We are an experienced fabricator of machining complex plastics for industrial applications. With a staff of highly knowledgeable engineers, we can offer creative guidance for your planned components to meet application requirements. If you have questions about material characteristics or would like assistance evaluating your options, call 909-986-6565 to speak with one of our representatives.

Engineering-Grade Plastics for CNC-Machined Aerospace Components


PEEK, or polyetheretherketone, is a high-performing thermoplastic with heat resistance, resisting combustion up to nearly 600° Celsius, making it a popular aerospace material. With a semi-crystalline material structure, PEEK has high creep and fatigue resistance, offering durability and longevity. This material also has excellent chemical resistance against jet fuel, hydraulic fluids, and other chemicals. In aerospace CNC manufacturing, PEEK is used for:

  • Convoluted tubing for electrical systems
  • Engine components
  • Internal and external components

We offer decades of experience in machining PEEK. Using multi-axis machining, we can ensure components are machined correctly the first time and that even some of the most complex parts are completed in a single operation.


Known for its clarity, polycarbonate (PC) is a thermoplastic with favorable characteristics for aerospace applications. Polycarbonate has exceptional transparency, which is essential in critical flight instruments requiring visibility. It is incredibly durable with excellent impact resistance, protecting against external forces that may cause damage to vital components or employees. Polycarbonate is used for aerospace applications such as:

  • Aircraft windows
  • Internal and external lighting
  • Electronic consoles and flight controls
  • Safety equipment

This material features good machineability, allowing us to achieve tight tolerances consistently. Utilizing multi-axis machining, our high-precision parts require minimal handling and fixturing.


Nylon is a high-strength linear polyamide thermoplastic in aerospace engineering. It is strong, lightweight, and durable, and as a compatible replacement for specific metals, it can lighten the overall weight for increased fuel efficiency. Nylon also has excellent resistance characteristics, withstanding chemical exposure, high wear, abrasion, vibration, and impact. An ideal replacement for metal washers and bearings, nylon components in the aerospace industry include:

  • Engine components
  • Light covers
  • Piping systems and tubing
  • Hydraulics and landing gear

Nylon is a cost-effective, easy-to-machine material available in many grades and formulations. We utilize CNC machining to produce precision components with tolerances to your specifications.


A polyetherimide resin thermoplastic, Ultem® is a versatile engineering material with excellent characteristics. Ultem® features dimensional resistance, withstanding inflammation, chemical exposure, stress, and cracking. It is a high-strength material with dielectric properties for low thermal conductivity and is FDA and NSF-approved for contact with food and medical substances. Ultem® is commonly found in the following applications:

  • Ventilation systems
  • Personal service units
  • Latches, hinges, door handles
  • Food tray containers and galley equipment

Understanding the machining characteristics of Ultem® is essential to producing high-precision parts. We prioritize multi-axis machining and DPD/MBD capabilities to machine your parts directly from CAD models to meet your requirements.


Ideal for components and assemblies that increase passenger safety, Torlon® is a polyamide-imide (PAI). With excellent mechanical, physical, and resistance properties, Torlon® is a high-strength material stable through hot and cold temperatures and pressure changes. It is also flame resistant, chemical and radiation resistant, and will not emit smoke when burning. Torlon® also has self-lubricating properties for aerospace applications, including:

  • Thermal isolators
  • Sector gears
  • Bushings and screws

Machining Torlon® can be difficult when large amounts of material removal are required. We offer years of experience in machining Torlon®, able to manage stresses within the material and utilize annealing capabilities for precision fabrication.

Teflon® PTFE

Teflon®, or polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), is a fluorocarbon polymer with exceptional material properties. With a very low coefficient of friction, Teflon® has wear resistance, flexural strength, and good dimensional stability. It also features electrical resistance and dielectric strength for insulation applications. Demonstrating excellent chemical resistance, where pure PTFE may be chemically inert and insoluble in solvents, Teflon® is an ideal material for:

  • Fuel hoses
  • Electrical connections
  • Cable insulation
  • Door surface protection and coatings

Engineering aerospace parts from Teflon® with CNC machining offers high accuracy, where tight tolerances can be met for precision parts. With our expertise, we machine Teflon® parts to your requirements and deburr with advanced solutions.

Find “Top-Flight” CNC Machining for Plastic Aerospace Components at Upland Fab

Many engineering-grade plastics have properties that may make them difficult to machine. As a shop specializing in CNC machining, Upland Fab has an expert staff that can combat production challenges, saving you time, resources, and stress. We have multi-axis machining capabilities and decades of experience to manufacture the parts you require with superior results and exact specifications. Contact us with your questions or request a quote to get started.
Precision Plastic and Composite CNC Machining

Precision Plastic and Composite
CNC Machining since 1970.

Precision Plastic and Composite CNC Machining
©2024 Upland Fab - 1445 W Brooks Street, Unit L, Ontario, California 91762 - Phone: (909) 986-6565
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