RETFORD, England—A new lightweight silicone can save weight in seals and other aircraft parts, according to a British firm.
Icon Polymer Group claims its ICONlite silicone rubber offers weight reductions of about 20 percent compared with standard silicone rubbers. Despite its low specific gravity, it maintains the useful mechanical and chemical properties of silicones, according to the company. Icon Polymer said its experience in hybrid polymers led to the discovery.
"The potential savings are massive, and we are already in conversation with several leading global manufacturers and tier one suppliers about the integration of ICONlite products into their designs," Icon Polymer CEO Tim Pryce said in a news release.
The company estimates such seals could save 504 pounds of weight on one aircraft. With total flights logged at more than 700,000 hours, the aircraft could save $5 million in kerosene jet fuel.
Icon says its engineered polymer customer base includes a range of global civil and military aerospace companies such as Airbus, Bombardier and Gulfstream as well as military off-road vehicles.