What are aircraft made of? Some aircraft are made of carbon fibre. These structures are framed with steel and aluminium. Although this material is identified as aluminium, it is an alloy. The alloy is composed of aluminium and other metals. The metal gives the aircraft the properties needed to maintain the structure. Aluminium is not something that can be used for building in its pure form. Titanium is another alloy that is used to build aircraft. Some landing gears are built out of titanium along with other metals. An aircraft and its proper construction or repair is critical when it comes to materials used. Without careful selection and planning this could mean that lives are loss.
When talking about metal for an aircraft, one must be concerned with the general properties of metal and metal alloys. These properties are conductivity, expansion and contraction, fusibility, brittleness, density, toughness, elasticity, ductility, malleability and hardness. Conductivity of metal helps it transmit electricity or heat. The thermal expansion and contraction is what happens when the cooling and heating of the metal takes place. Heat will cause metal to expand; cold will cause it to contract. Fusibility is the capability of a metal to become a liquid when heat is applied. Brittleness is the ability to bend or become deformed without breaking. Hard steel, cast aluminium, and cast iron are brittle metals. Toughness is a property one would like to have for aircraft metal. This metal can stand up to tearing and stretching without breaking. Elasticity is the trait that allows metal to go back to its original proportions and shape when the force that caused the metal to become distorted is removed. Ductility is the trait of metal that allows it to be eternally bent, twisted or drawn without shattering. Malleability is that trait that allows metal to be pressed, rolled or hammered without breaking, cracking or having some other type of harmful effect. Hardness is the trait of metal that makes it able to resist permanent distortion, cutting action, penetration and abrasion.
Types of Metal
Ferrous metals are one of the type of metals used in aircraft. This type of metal is chosen because it has iron as one of its largest component. One kind of ferrous metal combines iron and carbon. This is called carbon steel. Some metals are alloys. An alloy is a combination of two or more basic metals. The proportion of each element determines the properties of that particular alloy. Steel is an alloy that is very diverse. Alloys are used in a broad range of aircrafts. Copper, aluminium, nickel, titanium and stainless steel are used in different applications.
Alloy steels enable engineers and designers to meet the need for metal that is long-lasting, durable and cost-effective. Aluminium allows aircraft builders to build lightweight aircraft frames that are sturdy. Combinations of aluminium, copper and manganese make metal for aircraft that are anti-corrosive and superior to any other alloy metal.
William writes for Dynamic Metals stainless steel & titanium sheet suppliers look to them for high-grade metals. Metals available include 17/4PH, AMS 5643 and many others, visit DynamicMetalsLtd.co.uk today for more information.