Composite Materials for the Aerospace Industry

Norplex-Micarta is a supplier of composite materials for aerospace to enhance the performance of space and aircraft in a wide range of operating conditions.

From braking systems and window frames to structural elements and more, Norplex-Micarta supplies composite materials for aerospace for OEMs and fabricators around the world

The military and commercial aerospace industry demands high-reliability products, excellent service, and complete confidentiality from its suppliers. Norplex-Micarta consistently meets those requirements with a variety of high performance thermoset composite materials in sheet, tube, rod, and prepreg forms, and we have the ability to manufacture compression molded parts.

Norplex-Micarta’s composite materials for aerospace provide excellent mechanical strength, structural support, and durability. Manufactured components must withstand the initial impact force of installation, as well as the repeated stress of inspections and repairs. They must also exhibit excellent compressive, shear, tensile, and flexural strength to withstand the rigors of take-off, flight, and landing operations.

High-temperature environments, such as disk brake systems and landing gear, place particular stress on composites. Norplex-Micarta materials exhibit high strength at elevated operating temperatures, and also provide insulation from heat when used to separate two components. There are even Norplex-Micarta products with thermal expansion properties similar to those of aluminum and steel, common materials used in the construction of aircraft. This allows the composite to be used where a temperature shift causes surrounding elements to expand or contract.

Norplex-Micarta composites also offer excellent electrical insulation properties and low toxicity/burn characteristics. Some materials are self-extinguishing to minimize damage and risk in the case of fire or explosion.

Honeycomb Floor and Wall Structures

Prepreg material is used to manufacture the honeycomb floor structure between passenger and luggage compartments, as well as in the bulkheads of service areas. In addition to being lightweight, Norplex-Micarta composites also exhibit high compressive, shear, tensile, and flexural strength simultaneously to withstand the rigors of standard operation. Low burn and toxicity characteristics minimize danger to passengers and crew in the event of a fi re or explosion.

Window Frames

Norplex-Micarta’s composite materials for aerospace are used as window frame supports for the cockpit and passenger compartments. The glass window mounts into the composite frame, which is then bolted to the aluminum skeleton of the aircraft. The frame must withstand the impact force of installation and provide excellent mechanical strength for the life of the aircraft. The coefficient of thermal expansion must be nearly identical to that of the aluminum skeleton and glass window to ensure that all elements expand and contract at the same rate, thereby maintaining the integrity of the window assembly. Frames are manufactured in thicknesses matching the glass window. Those made from Norplex-Micarta materials can withstand stresses of up to 15,000 to 20,000 psi, greatly exceeding the expected stresses during take-off, flight, landing, and taxiing operations.

Braking Systems

Disk brakes, which are used in both military and commercial aircraft, generate a great amount of heat during landing. A thermal insulation component is required to isolate the hot disk from the tire and strut frame that leads into the aircraft. This insulation component must also withstand extreme compressive force of up to 10,000 psi when the disk and wheel are bolted together during installation, as well as every time the braking system is inspected or repaired. The shaft of the braking system can also be insulated with a thermoset composite tube to isolate it from the tire. This tube must withstand the same high-temperature and compressive forces as disk brake components.

Specialty Molded Shapes

Norplex-Micarta understands the demanding environment of the aerospace industry and works directly with engineers to design high-reliability shapes to fit the most exacting applications.

Want to learn more about specific application areas?

Cryogenic Applications

sheet and shape

Cold of Space

Glass-epoxy and cotton-phenolic sheets and stock shapes that have proven themselves through years of service in the demanding environment of space.


prepreg, sheet, shapes

Achieving Minimum Mass

Various reinforcements such as carbon, glass, and aramids that can be used alone or in hybrid systems to create new materials that are predictable, reliable, and repeatable.

Bearing and Wear

sheet and tube


Utilizing well-known resin systems with new and innovative reinforcements to optimize the bulk and tribological properties of composites for demanding bearing and wear applications.

Ongoing advances in Aerospace demand new material solutions.
Contact our applications engineers to discuss how thermoset composites can be customized
to meet the needs of your specific application.