Aluminum: King of Aircraft Construction

Aluminum earns such high recognition as the top choice material in manufacturing aircraft structure and airframe with lightweight properties.

High strength and lightweight materials are greatly required in aircraft and aerospace construction. The existence of aluminum alloys has primarily become one of the key reasons of the possibilities for the full boom of the aircraft industry and development of aviation.

With the discovery of materials and the compound properties found in their elements, new strategies and machining operations have been formulated to use these materials to new applications and of course, to improve the existing ones.

Aluminum, generally speaking, has already been used in multiple applications in recent years despite its expensive cost. One major fact that best explains the sudden boom of these superalloys is that they possess such powerful properties that can withstand across high levels of temperature and various conditions.

The Basics about Aluminum

Aluminum is recognized as the most abundant metal in the Earth’s crust, after silicon and oxygen. It has a silvery-white appearance with a lot of valuable mechanical properties. It possesses 60% electrical conductivity that of a copper, but with much lower density, thus it has light weight that is used extensively in aircraft and aerospace construction.

Pure aluminum has soft and ductile characteristics, but it can be strengthened when it is alloyed with small amounts of other elements like magnesium, copper, and silicon. Such kind of alloy possesses better corrosion resisting properties with its protective oxide coating that is achieved and enhanced through the process of anodization. Their light weight and non-toxic mechanical properties enable them to be easily machined and cast. One good thing about aluminum is that it is recyclable which can save considerable energy. They only need to undergo a melting process in order for them to be reused.

Its Powerful Properties

Aluminum alloys have low density, therefore, they are lightweight which is one of the key factors to consider upon constructing an aircraft and its vital parts. Such excellent properties they possess are superior malleability, high strength, easy machining, good electrical and thermal conductivity, and excellent corrosion resistance.

How it Starred in Aviation Industry

80 percent of a commercial transport aircraft airframe is made up of aluminum. This alloy is such a top choice for composing up the aircraft’s components like wing, fuselage, and supporting structures of transport aircraft/military cargo and commercial airlines. Most of the navy aircrafts are mainly made of fabricated aluminum. The focus towards aluminum casting technology is continue to grow and earn recognition with its countless advantages in forming complex parts for aircraft structure. It is flexible enough in incorporating innovative and complicated design concepts in aviation industry with only low manufacturing cost.