High Temperature Alloys in Aerospace
High temperature alloys are a crucial component of aerospace manufacturing. These alloys are designed to withstand the extreme conditions encountered during flight, including high temperatures, pressure, and stress. High temperature alloys fall into two main categories:
One of the most commonly used high temperature alloys is Nickel Alloy 625 (Inconel® 625), which is a nickel-chromium alloy with a high level of strength, excellent corrosion resistance and the alloy offers easy fabrication.
Nickel Alloy 625 Inconel®, as well as Nickel Alloy 718 (Inconel® 718) and Nickel Alloy A-286 are highly resistant to oxidation and corrosion, making them ideal for use in the hot sections of jet engines. In addition, high temperature alloys like Nickel Alloy 718 (Inconel® 718) and Nickel Alloy A-286 are highly resistant to high-temperature fatigue, which can occur because of the repeated heating and cooling cycles experienced during flight.
Inconel® is a trademark of the Special Metals Corporation group of companies.
Titanium & Titanium Alloys
Another commonly used high temperature alloy is titanium, which is used in the production of aircraft structures and engine components. Titanium is lightweight and has excellent corrosion resistance, making it an ideal choice for aerospace applications. In addition, titanium is highly resistant to high temperatures, making it ideal for use in the hot sections of jet engines.
CP (Commercially Pure) Titanium Grade 1, which Supra Alloys supplies in bar, rod, wire, sheet, plate and tubing (and which is offered in slit coil, strip and cut-to-length sheet by NKS, another Banner Industries division), possesses great formability, high impact toughness and excellent corrosion resistance. It is primarily used in airframes.
CP Titanium Grade 2 shares many of the same qualities as CP Titanium Grade 1 but is slightly stronger and possesses good weldability. In addition to airframes, it is used in aircraft engines.
CP Titanium Grade 3 is the strongest of the three and has higher mechanicals than Grades 1 and 2.
And finally, CP Titanium Grade 4 is the strongest of the four CP grades with its high strength to weight ratio well maintained at moderate temperatures providing excellent formability for airframe and engine parts.
For some of the more demanding aerospace applications, alloy elements are added to titanium to enhance strength. The main titanium alloy for aerospace applications is Grade 5, containing 6% Aluminum and 4% Vanadium (Ti 6Al-4V).
The use of high temperature alloys in aerospace manufacturing has enabled the development of more efficient and reliable aircraft. By withstanding the extreme conditions encountered during flight, these alloys help to ensure the safety of passengers and crew. In addition, the use of high temperature alloys has enabled the development of more fuel-efficient engines, which reduces the environmental impact of air travel.
While there are some challenges associated with the use of high temperature alloys, their many advantages make them an indispensable component of modern aerospace engineering.