Certain materials have become associated with different flutes. For instance, the orchestral flute is usually made of metal, ranging from silver-plated brass to solid sterling to gold.
The concert (or "Irish") flute is usually made of exotic hardwood. Species of wood used by different makers include African blackwood (also called grenadilla), cocus, boxwood, ebony, and rosewood. Other woods such as mopane which have not traditionally been considered "tone-woods" are now being used as well.
Into the mix come the polymers.
"Polymer," of course, is simply a fancier-sounding term for plastic.
Many people have come to associate the term "plastic" with such concepts as "cheaply made," "disposable," and even "of low quality," and this is a prejudice faced by someone deciding whether or not to consider plastic as a material from which their flute might be made.
Polymer does have some advantages over wood:
Makers which offer polymer as a choice of materials for your flute include Michael Cronnolly, Desi Seery, Tony Dixon, and Terry McGee. Other makers such as Patrick Olwell and Hammy Hamilton have made polymer prototypes but have not yet incorporated polymer models into their product line.