To ensure that people and cargo are transported safely, aircraft must be durable, strong, and reliable. For the manufacturer of dependable airplanes, aerospace engineers and other aviation professionals utilize specific metals for certain engine parts and other components. In this blog, we will cover the four most common metals used in the aviation industry.
When manufacturers begin building an aircraft, they make sure it can lift off the ground. For example, if engineers constructed planes from heavy metal, they would not be able to take off easily. By using aluminum, engineers can produce light, robust, and fuel-efficient planes. More than that, aluminum is extremely malleable; thus, it makes it easy to form parts and components that are extremely precise. It is also sleek in design, allowing manufacturers to produce seamless designs.
Another popular metal that the aviation industry takes advantage of, is stainless steel. Due to its durability, corrosion-resistant nature, and high-temperature coefficient, stainless steel has become a go-to choice for many aircraft sections and parts. Some other common applications include the landing gear components, various engine parts, actuators, and more. Typically, the steels used in aerospace applications are stainless steel alloys 304, 304L, 316, and 316L. Recently, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk surprised audiences far and wide with Starship, a spacecraft that features a stainless steel 301 skin designed for interplanetary travel.
Tungsten is often used to balance an aircraft and minimize vibrations, making the flight sturdier, more pleasant, and safer. As pure tungsten is very soft, engineers rarely use its pure form, and instead, they incorporate tungsten alloys. In smaller aircraft, tungsten is beneficial for the ailerons and the elevators as it can help with the stability and control of the aircraft’s elevation. In fact, tungsten alloys often serve as a counterweight that does not compromise the overall system size or integrity.
As a result of its incredible strength, heat resistance, and corrosion resistance, aviation engineers utilize titanium to make the fuselage and landing gear. Additionally, titanium is also used to make fuselage components, springs, engine parts, and fastening elements. For instance, the modern Airbus A380 and Boeing B787 are made with a large percentage of titanium when compared to previously engineered aircraft. Because of its weight-to-strength ratio, airplanes made of titanium consume less fuel. Over time, titanium has quickly replaced aluminum parts in manufacturing plants because it can resist heat and corrosion when it comes in contact with carbon-fiber reinforced polymers (CFRPs).
ASAP 3sixty is a leading supplier of popular aviation-grade metals and more, all of which can be found on our ever-expanding database of products. With countless ready-to-purchase options, customers can easily meet rigid time constraints and strict budget parameters. As our network of distribution centers spans across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, we are equipped to provide expedited shipping services to even our most remote customers.
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