aluminum in the aerospace industry Aluminum and its various alloys are widely used in aircraft and air construction due to their high strength, low weight and high corrosion resistance. In the following, we will examine the reasons for the superiority of aluminum and different types of alloys of this metal.
The first people in history to use aluminum to make their planes can be considered the Wright brothers. They used aluminum to make small parts of their planes because aluminum was a light metal that was more durable than wood and could withstand the pressure of flight.
Before World War I, all airplanes were made of wood, and only small parts were made of metals such as aluminum. But with the outbreak of the First World War, the first all-metal aircraft was made, and the first version of these planes can be considered the Junkers J1 plane, made by the German engineer Hugo Junkers in 1915. The fuselage of this aircraft is made of various alloys of aluminum made in combination with other elements such as copper, magnesium and manganese.
The period between the First and Second World Wars can be considered the golden age of the aviation industry, because in that period, European and American countries began to build all-metal planes using aluminum and its various alloys. One of the most successful companies in this field is Ford in the United States, which in 1925 Henry Ford managed to make a three-engine aircraft with an all-metal body and high strength.
With the outbreak of World War II, aluminum became a very common metal in the war, so with its high consumption and various alloys, the country’s resources and aluminum reserves were greatly reduced, and governments bought to supply the aluminum needed by their industries. And collecting equipment and aluminum available across the country and paid people.
Today, a few years after the construction of the first airplanes, alloys and many generations of aluminum were designed and built, which could make this metal increasingly popular among airlines and designers, and now many parts of airplanes (between 70% and 85%) are made. of aluminum and its various alloys.
There are different metals and elements in the world. Why use aluminum and its various alloys between all these elements?
Elements and materials used in the construction of aircraft must have special properties. These features include the following:
High Strength: The materials used in the construction of an airplane should be of high strength and be able to withstand the pressures and stresses applied to the airplane during flight, such as take-off and landing.
Light weight: The materials and elements of the aircraft must be very light and strong at the same time. Because the heavy weight of materials and materials makes the plane heavier and increases fuel consumption or even makes it impossible to fly. The lighter the plane, the more cargo it will be able to carry or fly longer distances.
Corrosion resistance aluminum in the aerospace industry : Corrosion of aircraft fuselages is very common due to weather conditions and long flights and causes irreparable damage to the aircraft and endangers the lives of passengers and materials used in the aircraft. They must have high resistance to corrosion and physical and chemical damage.
Before the use of metal, airplanes were made of wood. Because wood was a light material and very light in weight, airplanes could fly without much force. But with the advent of metal in the aerospace industry and aircraft construction, aluminum became very popular among other elements. The reason for this popularity can be considered in three important and practical properties of aluminum and compare them with other elements.
Strength aluminum in the aerospace industry : Aluminum and various types of alloys have a very high strength so that one third of the weight of steel has the same amount of strength.
Light weight: As mentioned, aluminum has a very low weight in addition to high strength, and therefore has eliminated the heavy metals used to increase aircraft power.
Corrosion resistance: aluminum in the aerospace industry and its alloys also have very high resistance to chemical and physical corrosion and are very useful for use in adverse weather conditions.
There are various alloys and compounds of aluminum with other metals and elements, but only a few of them are used in the aerospace industry. Below we will present some of these alloys, the characteristics of each and their application in aviation. construction.
The main element of the alloy in aluminum 2024 is copper.
Aluminum 2024 is used if a high strength-to-weight ratio is required.
2024 alloys are used in wing and fuselage structures due to the stresses they receive during the summer.
The highest alloy heat cures
Alloy 5052 can be formed in different ways. In addition, it offers excellent resistance to salt water corrosion in the marine environment.
This alloy has good mechanical properties and is easy to weld. This alloy is common for general purposes and is used in aerospace applications for wing and body constructions. This is especially true for domestic aircraft.
Often referred to as the “architectural alloy”, 6063 aluminum is the best known alloy for its outstanding properties and is often the most useful alloy for anodizing applications.
The best choice for aerospace applications, the 7050 alloy exhibits much greater resistance and corrosion than the 7075. Because it retains strength in wider parts, the 7050 aluminum is able to maintain resistance to breakage and corrosion.
7068 aluminum alloy is the strongest type of alloy currently available on the commercial market. Lightweight and excellent corrosion resistance, the 7068 is one of the toughest alloys currently available.
We hope you find out more about the use of aluminum in aircraft construction