Aeronautical materials

An Introduction

The aeronautical industry is a great test for engineering materials. Where other industries have a singular key requirement that the materials used have to adhere to, the aeronautical industry has manifold requirements, often simultaneously. Not only is there the construction of the aircraft itself to consider, with maximum takeoff payloads as high as 640 tons, there are also positive and negative pressures, stress and strain, yaw and torque, along with the greatest of extremes of temperature, requiring both high strength and elasticity. 

In addition to this, the structural components of modern jet engines can operate in excess of 1000c, whilst also dealing with high rotational forces and attack from chemicals necessitating materials with excellent high temperature characteristics, extremely high creep resistance, as well as protection from corrosive attack. There is often a trade off between out and out performance and weight, where light weight is needed to increase payload or save fuel, but not at the expense of a lower performance material. As a result, the aeronautical industry has had perhaps the highest amount of time and money invested in metallurgy and manufacturing techniques.

The materials and applications on this page are listed solely as a guide and do not reflect the limit of our supply, or the uses of said materials. If you have a specific application for which you need particular materials, please do not hesitate to contact us.

aluminium

Pros

+ Lightweight

+ High Strength

+ Straightforward to extrude into complex shapes

+ Good corrosion resistance

+ Easy to join via riveting or bonding

+ High modulus of elasticity

+ Large range of alloys and tempers to meet a broad range of needs

+ Relatively abundant supply

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Cons

Aluminium in Aviation

nickel

Pros

+ Excellent creep resistance

+ High yield strength

+ High thermal fatigue resistance

+ Good hot corrosion resistance

+ Low coefficient of expansion

High specific strength meaning that relatively thin walled tubes and         sheets can be used, maintaining properties whilst saving weight

+ Stable, thick Cr₂O₃ film layer, strengthened when heated, giving                 excellent corrosion resistance.

+ Reliable strength over wide temperature range

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Cons

Nickel in Aviation

steel

Pros

+ Excellent creep resistance from specific Austenitic and Ferritic alloys

+ High yield strength

+ High thermal fatigue resistance

+ Good hot corrosion resistance

Relatively abundant

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Cons

Steel in Aviation

titanium

Pros

+ Excellent creep resistance

+ High yield strength

+ High thermal fatigue resistance

+ Good hot corrosion resistance

+ Good cold formability

+ Good fabricability

+ Good high temperature microstructure stability

+ Good strength on large sectional components

+ Relatively lightweight - half that of Steel

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Cons

Titanium in Aviation

carbon fibre

Pros

+ Very lightweight

+ High tensile strength

+ Readily formed into complex shapes

+ High corrosion resistance

+ Excellent stiffness

+ Good resistance to heat

+ Good creep resistance

+ High strength over large areas

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Cons

Carbon Fibre in Aviation

aramids

Pros

+ Very lightweight

+ High tensile strength

+ Readily formed into complex shapes

+ High corrosion resistance

+ Excellent resistance to heat

+ Excellent abrasion resistance

+ Good electrical insulation

+ Great puncture resistance

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Cons

Aramids in Aviation

Integ Metals // Industries // Aeronautical

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