DALLAS — To ensure the safe, efficient, and economical operation of commercial aircraft during all phases of flight, care is taken to choose the right structural materials during the design, repair, and maintenance of aircraft and their components.
These materials should have the following desirable characteristics: the capacity to resist abrasion and penetration (hardness), the ability to resist deformation (strength), the ability to be bent or twisted without breaking (ductility), the ability to return to its original size and shape after a load is removed (elasticity), the ability to conduct heat or electricity (conductivity), the strength-to-weight ratio, and fatigue resistance.
Different parts of the aircraft must be manufactured and maintained with specific qualities and properties of structural materials because of the amount of load, stress, exposure to various environmental factors like extreme heat and fire, the purpose of the aircraft (subsonic or supersonic), reliability, and many other factors.
Steel alloys, aluminum alloys, composite materials, plastics, rubber, fabrics, and wood are some examples of these materials. The main uses for the material in an aircraft are decided by its properties as follows:
1. Chromium Steel
Chromium Steel is a metal alloy made of iron, carbon, and chromium. It possesses excellent levels of hardness, strength, and corrosion resistance. This alloy, together with nickel, is used to make propeller reduction gears because it provides resistance to corrosion and fatigue.
2. Chrome Nickel
Other names for chrome-nickel include stainless steel and corrosion-resistant alloy steel. Because it contains 18% chromium and 8% nickel, the chrome-nickel steel that is most commonly used to make airplane parts is known as “18-8 steel.”
The desired qualities of this alloy allow it to be rolled, drawn, bent, or molded into any shape, thereby making it suitable for aviation springs, tie rods, and control cables.
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