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Requirement of space and aerospace materials, land base

and aerospace material.
Identification of components of aero planes, space
vehicles and missiles: materials usage in each sections
and critically of the components and their materials
Gas turbines and aero engines: creep, fatigue and
Ni and Co based super alloys
Special Steels
Ti alloys, Al alloys, Mg alloys
Intermetallics, composites
Ceramics and their composite
New high strength materials

The importance of aerospace materials

airframe structures and jet engine

operation and maintenance of aircraft.
Materials affect virtually every aspect of the aircraft, including the:
cost of structural upgrades to existing aircraft
design options for the airframe, structural components and engines
fuel consumption of the aircraft (light-weighting)
operational performance of the aircraft (speed, range and payload)
in-service maintenance (inspection and repair) of the airframe
safety, reliability and operational life of the airframe and engines
disposal and recycling of the aircraft at the end-of-life.

Understanding aerospace materials

structural efficiency of aircraft and the propulsion efficiency of jet engines

physical properties (e.g. density)

mechanical properties (e.g. stiffness, strength and toughness)
chemical properties (e.g. corrosion and oxidation)
thermal properties (e.g. heat capacity, thermal conductivity)
electrical properties (e.g. electrical conductivity).

Materials science
involves understanding the composition structure of materials and how they control the properties

Relationship between materials science and materials technology

materials technology aims to transform materials into useful structures or components

The macrostructural features of materials, such as its shape

and dimensions

The microstructure of materials typically covers the length scale from around 1 to
1000 mm, and microstructural features in metals such as
the grain size, grain structure, precipitates and defects (e.g. voids, brittle

The crystal structure and nanoscopic-sized crystal defects in metals and the
molecular structures of the fibres and polymer in composites

At the smallest scale the atomic and molecular structure of materials,

which includes the bonding between atoms, has a large influence on
properties such as stiffness and strength.

Structural factors at different sizes affect the properties of metals

The aim of materials science is to understand how the physical, mechanical and other properties
are controlled over the different length scales.

Materials technology (also called materials engineering) involves the

application of the material properties to achieve the service performance
of a component.
materials technology aims to transform materials into useful structures or components,
Eg: converting soft aluminium into a high strength metal alloy for use in an
aircraft wing
Eg: making a ceramic composite with high thermal insulation properties needed
for the heat shields of a spacecraft.

The properties needed by materials are dependent on the type of the component
ability to carry stress without deforming excessively or breaking;
resist corrosion or oxidation;
operate at high temperature without softening;
provide high structural performance at low weight or low cost;

Materials technology involves

selecting materials with the properties that best meet the service requirements of a component as well as maintaining
the performance of the materials over the operating life of the component by resisting corrosion, fatigue, temperature
and other damaging events.
Introducing the main types of aerospace materials
It is estimated that there are more than 120 000 materials from which an aerospace engineer can choose the
materials for the airframe and engine.
The great majority of materials
Metals (over 65 000),
lack one or more of the essential properties required for aerospace structural
Plastics (over 15 000),
or engine applications.

Most materials are too expensive, heavy or soft or they lack sufficient corrosion
Ceramics (over 10 000),
resistance, fracture toughness or some other important property.
Composites and natural substances such as wood.

Only a tiny percentage of materials, less than 0.05%, are suitable to use in the airframe and engine components of
aircraft, helicopters and spacecraft.
< 100 types of metal alloys, composites, polymers and ceramics have the combination of essential
properties needed for aerospace applications.

The demand on materials for aerospace applications

structurally efficient
damage tolerant
Durable while cost-effective
easy to manufacture
Other demands on aerospace materials are emerging as important future issues.
use of renewable materials produced with environmentally friendly processes and
materials that can be fully recycled at the end of the aircraft life.
Sustainable materials that have little or no impact on the environment when
produced, and also reduce the environmental impact of the aircraft by lowering
fuel burn (usually through reduced weight)

physical properties (e.g. density)

mechanical properties (e.g. stiffness, strength and
chemical properties (e.g. corrosion and oxidation)
thermal properties (e.g. heat capacity, thermal conductivity)
electrical properties (e.g. electrical conductivity).

The main groups of materials used in aerospace structures

Aluminium alloys
Titanium alloys
Nickel-based alloys

Other materials
for specific applications for certain types of aircraft, but are not mainstream materials used in large quantities.
magnesium alloys
fibremetal laminates
metal matrix composites
woods, ceramics for heat insulation tiles for rockets and spacecraft, and radar absorbing materials for stealth military
Many other materials used in aircraft:
copper for electrical wiring
semiconductors for electronic devices
synthetic fabrics for seating and other furnishing.

Structural materials and their weight percentage used in the airframes of civilian
(a) Boeing
(d) Boeing 787

(b) Airbus 340330

(c) Airbus A380

(e) F-18 Hornet(C/D)


General Aviation planes vary in size and shape but the basic parts remain the same

Cessna Caravan

Aviat Pitts S2C

Cirrus SR20

Piper Seneca

Eclipse 500

Gulfstream Business Jet

1.Weight is the force of gravity. It acts in a downward directiontoward the center of the Earth.
2.Lift is the force that acts at a right angle to the direction of motion through the air. Lift is created by differences
in air pressure.
3.Thrust is the force that propels a flying machine in the direction of motion. Engines produce thrust.
4.Drag is the force that acts opposite to the direction of motion. Drag is caused by friction and differences in air

Propeller powered airplane

Basic parts include the

fuselage or body,
jet or propeller-driven engines depending on the size and model of the airplane.

Jet-engine powered airplane


The main distinguishing features of an

aircraft :
1. wing position
2. wing shape
3. wing number




The wings of the airplane include ailerons and wing

flaps, and depending on the size and model of the plane,
may have the engines attached as well.












move in opposite direction to bank/roll the

airplane (control stick to R/L)

extended for approach, landing and take-off to
increase the lift of the wings at low speed

Left turn

Ailerons on the rear edge of the wings tilt the wings

for a turn or bank.
Right turn

FUSELAGE The fuselage is made up of the cockpit, which includes the seating and instruments for the
pilot and sometimes the co-pilot, and the body of the plane, which may carry passengers,
cargo or both.

The body of an airplane is called the fuselage.


Tail of the airplane is made up of two main parts, the vertical stabilizer and the
horizontal stabilizer. Each of these parts has a role to play in the flight of the


hindged to the stationary FIN to control the yaw

(L/R) of an airplane (pedals)

hinged to the HOROZONTAL STABILIZER, move in
same direction to control the pitch (up/down) of
the airplane (control stick push/pull)

Most General Aviation airplanes have one piston engine that drives a

Types of landing gear :




A spacecraft is a vehicle, or machine designed to fly in outer space. Spacecraft are used for a
variety of purposes, including communications, earth observation, meteorology, navigation, space
colonization, planetary exploration, and transportation of humans and cargo.

A spacecraft is any piloted or unpiloted vehicle designed for

travel in space.
The systems and instruments a spacecraft must carry
depends upon the data it will gather and the functions it will
carry out.
Their complexity varies greatly but all must endure the
hostile environment of space.
Spacecraft may be broadly categorized according to the
missions they are intended to fly.
Structural Subsystem
Power Supply and Distribution
Data Handling
Attitude and Articulation Control
Propulsion Subsystems
Pyrotechnic Subsystems
Environmental Subsystems
Landing Subsystems
Science Instruments etc.,

Materials selection
Specific strength is defined as the yield strength divided by density.
Relates the strength of a material to its mass (lead has a very low specific strength, titanium a high specific strength).
Stiffness (deformation vs. load)
Stress corrosion resistance
Stress corrosion cracking (SCC).
Fracture and fatigue resistance
Materials contain microcracks (unavoidable)
Crack propagation can lead to total failure of a structure.
Extensive examination and non-destructive testing to determine that no cracks exists above a specified (and thus safe)
Use alternative load paths so that no one structure is a single point failure and load is spread across the structure.
Thermal parameters
Thermal and electrical conductivity
Thermal expansion/contraction (materials may experience extremes of temperature).
Sublimation, outgassing and erosion of materials.
Ease of manufacture and modification
Material homogeneity (particularly composites - are their properties uniform throughout?).
Machineability (brittleness - ceramics difficult to work with)

Spacecraft structures
Top 18 highest melting point elements
Elements (refractories)


Melting Pt. (K)

Boiling Pt. (K)

Density (kg m-3)

Carbon (diamond)


5100 (s)




















































































Spacecraft Materials

Aluminium (and its alloys)

=2698 kg m-3, melting point=933.5 K
Most commonly used conventional material (used for hydrazine and nitrous
oxide propellant tanks).
Low density, good specific strength
Weldeable, easily workable (can be extruded, cast, machined etc).
Cheap and widely available
Doesnt have a high absolute strength and has a low melting point (933 K).

Spacecraft Materials

Beryllium (BeCu)
=1848 kg m-3, melting point=1551 K
Stiffest naturally occurring material (beryllium metal doesnt occur
naturally but its compounds do).
Low density, high specific strength
High temperature tolerance
Expensive and difficult to work
Toxic (corrosive to tissue and carcinogenic)
Low atomic number and transparent to X-rays
Pure metal has been used to make rocket nozzles.

Spacecraft Materials

Magnesium (and its alloys)

=1738 kg m-3, melting point=922 K
Higher stiffness, good specific strength
Less workable than aluminium.
Is chemically active and requires a surface coating
(thus making is more expensive to produce).

Spacecraft Materials

Titanium (and alloys)

=4540 kg m-3, melting point=1933 K
Light weight with high specific strength
Stiff than aluminium (but not as stiff as steel)
Corrosion resistant
High temperature capability
Are more brittle (less ductile) than aluminium/steel.
Lower availability, less workable than aluminium (6 times more
expensive than stainless steel).
Used for pressure tanks, fuels tanks, high speed vehicle skins.

Ferrous alloys (particularly stainless steel)

=7874 kg m-3, melting point (Fe)=1808 K
Have high strength
High rigidity and hardness
Corrosion resistant
High temperature resistance (1200K)
Many applications in spacecraft despite high density
(screws, bolts are all mostly steel).

Spacecraft Materials

Spacecraft Materials

Austenitic steels (high temperature formation)

No brittle transition temperature.
Weldable, easily machined.
Cheap and widely available.
Susceptible to hydrogen embrittlement (hydrogen
adsorbed into the lattice make the alloy brittle).
Used in propulsion and cryogenic systems.

Other alloys
Inconel (An alloy of Ni and Co)
High temperature applications such as heat shields and rocket
High density (>steel, 8200 km m-3).

Similar strength to aluminium but several percent lighter.

but lightweight and high temperature resistant.

Main metals are W, Ta, Mo, Nb.

Generally high density.
Tend to be brittle/less ductile than aluminium and steel.
Specialised uses.
Composite materials (fibre reinforced)
Carbon and boron reinforced plastics
Carbon-carbon composites

Spacecraft Materials

Spacecraft Materials


Stainless steel used (where possible) to 1200K

Refractory elements and alloys used to 1860K
Refractory elements formed into borides, carbides, nitrides, oxides, silicides (e.g., boron carbide, tungsten carbide, boron
Spacecraft structure design requires a very careful selection of materials based upon their strength, thermal properties,
electrical properties, strength, stiffness, toxicity and shielding ability.

Most spacecraft materials are based on conventional aerospace

structural materials (similar weight/strength requirements).

A flying weapon that has its own engine so that it can travel along distance before
exploding at the place that has been aimed at.
A guided missile is a self-propelled projectile used as a weapon.
Missiles are typically propelled by rockets or jet engines.
Missiles generally have an explosive warhead, although other weapon types may also be
Working of a missile is based on many technological steps :
Targeting and Guidance system
Flight system


Targeting and Guidance system

Missiles may be targeted in a number of ways. The most common method is to use some form of radiation, such as infrared, lasers or radio waves, to guide the missile onto its target.

Another method is to use a TV camera-using either visible light or infra-red -in order to see the target. The picture may be
used either by a human operator who steers the missile onto its target, or by a computer doing much the same job.

GPS is also used to target the locations.

Flight system
Whether a guided missile uses a targeting system, a guidance system or both, it needs a flight system.
The flight system uses the data from the targeting or guidance system to manoeuvre the missile in flight, allowing it to
counter inaccuracies in the missile or to follow a moving target.
Engine and Warhead
The warhead or warheads of a missile provides its primary destructive power (many missiles have extensive
secondary destructive power due to the high kinetic energy of the weapon and unburnt fuel that may be on board).
Missiles are powered by an engine, generally either a type of rocket or jet engine

Types of missiles:
Ballistic missile
Anti -ballistic missile
Air to Air missile
Air to Surface missile
Surface to Surface missile
Surface to Air missile
Cruise missile

Al alloys, Ti alloys, Ni based alloys and ste

Gas Turbines or Jet engines:

Aircraft engines Superalloys

Compressor parts for aircraft engines Titanium alloys

Compressor blading materials for land based gas turbines
Special steels
combustor components Ni based super alloys
Turbine blades and vanes Cast superalloys



Turbojet Engine:

Afterburning Turbojet Engine:

Turbofan Engine

Turboprop Engine











Materials Selection:


Aluminium is the material of choice for most aircraft structures

It superseded wood as the common airframe material in the 1920s/1930s
High-strength aluminium alloy is the most used material for the fuselage, wing and supporting structures of
many commercial airliners and military aircraft, particularly those built before the year 2000.
Aluminium accounts for 7080% of the structural weight of most airliners and over 50% of many military
aircraft and helicopters
In recent years the use of aluminium has fallen owing to the growing use of fibrepolymer composite materials
The competition between the use of aluminium and composite is intense, although aluminium will remain an
important aerospace structural material.
Aluminium is used extensively for several reasons
low cost
ease of fabrication which allows it to be shaped and machined into structural components with complex shapes;
light weight
good stiffness strength and fracture toughness.
There are many types of aluminium used in aircraft whose properties are controlled by their alloy composition
and heat treatment.
high-strength aluminium alloys - upper wing skins to support high bending loads during flight
other types of aluminium : lower wing skins to provide high fatigue resistance.

Titanium alloys are used in both airframe structures and jet engine components
moderate weight, high structural properties (e.g. stiffness, strength, toughness, fatigue)
excellent corrosion resistance
The use of titanium is greater in
ability to retain their mechanical properties at high temperature.
fighter aircraft owing to their need
for higher strength materials than
Various types of titanium alloys with different compositions are used
although the most common is Ti6Al4V
titanium accounts for 25% of the

aircraft structures and engines.

structural mass of the F-15 Eagle
and F-16 Fighting Falcon and about
The structural properties of titanium are better than aluminium,
35% of the F-35 Lightning II.
it is also more expensive and heavier.
Titanium is generally used in the most heavily-loaded structures that must occupy minimum space
landing gear and wingfuselage connections
The structural weight of titanium in most commercial airliners is typically under 10%
Engine components made of titanium
Titanium alloys account for 2530% of the weight of modern jet engines,
include fan blades, low-pressure
used in components required to operate to 400500 C.
compressor parts, and plug and nozzle
assemblies in
the exhaust section.


Magnesium is one of the lightest metals, and for this reason was a popular material for lightweight aircraft
Magnesium was used extensively in aircraft built during the 1940s and 1950s to reduce weight
the usage has declined as it has been replaced by aluminium alloys and composites.
The use of magnesium in modern aircraft and helicopters is typically less than 2% of the total
structural weight.
several factors:
most notably higher cost and lower stiffness and strength compared with aluminium alloys
Magnesium is highly susceptible to corrosion which leads to increased requirements for maintenance
and repair
The use of magnesium alloys is now largely confined to non-gas turbine engine parts and applications
include gearboxes and gearbox housings of piston-engine aircraft and the main transmission housing of

Steel is the most commonly used metal in structural engineering,
its use as a structural material in aircraft is small (under 510% by weight)
The steels used in aircraft are alloyed and heat-treated for very high strength
about three times stronger than aluminium and twice as strong as titanium.
high elastic modulus (three times stiffer than aluminium) together with good
fatigue resistance and fracture toughness.
This combination of properties makes steel a material of choice for safety-critical
structural components that require very high strength and where space is limited,
as the landing gear and wing box components.
steel is not used in large quantities for several reasons, with the most important
being its high density, nearly three times as dense as aluminium and over 50%
denser than
Other problems include the susceptibility of some grades of high strength steel to
corrosion and embrittlement which can cause cracking.

a group of nickel,
ironnickel and cobalt alloys used in jet engines.
excellent heat resistant properties and
retain their stiffness, strength, toughness and dimensional stability at temperatures
much higher than the other aerospace structural materials.
Superalloys also have good resistance against corrosion and oxidation when
used at high temperatures in jet engines.
The most important type of superalloy is the nickel-based material that
contains a high concentration of chromium, iron, titanium, cobalt and other
alloying elements
Nickel superalloys can operate for long periods of time at temperatures of
8001000 C, which makes them suitable for the hottest sections of gas turbine
Superalloys are used in engine components such as the high-pressure turbine blades,
discs, combustion chamber, afterburners and thrust reversers.

Strengthening Mechanisms:

Dislocations (strain Hardening)

Grain refinement (grain Boundaries)

Stacking faults
Solid solution Alloying
Precipitation strengthening
Dispersion strengthening

Materials Distribution:

Aluminum and alloys:

Material Distribution for Boeing 777 Aircraft

Relatively low cost

Light weight metal (heat treated to fairly high strength levels)

One of the more easily fabricated of the high performance materials

High strength-to-weight ratio.

Cryogenic properties (alloys are not embrittled at low temperatures and become even stronger as the temperature is
decreased without significant ductility losses)(cryogenic fuel tanks for rockets and launch vehicles)

Fabricability (easiest of all metals to form and machine).

Aluminum is a light weight material with a density of 0.1 lb/in.3
Pure Al and its alloys have the face centered cubic (FCC) structure, which is stable up to its melting point at 1215 F.

Since the FCC structure contains multiple slip planes (12), this crystalline structure

greatly contributes to the excellent formability of aluminum alloys.

Corrosion resistance to natural atmospheres
Ease of recycling

low modulus of elasticity
rather low elevated temperature capability, and susceptibility to
Although aluminum alloys can be used for short times at temperatures as
high as 400500 F, their long-term usage temperatures are usually
restricted to 250300 F

Dominance of Aluminum in Airframe

Sufficient solid solubility in aluminum to be major alloying elements.

Lower solid solubility are the transition metals (normally form compounds that help to control the
grain structure)

Effect of different alloying elements on the solid

strengthening of pure aluminium in the
annealed condition

Effect of amount of cold working (strain hardening)

on the yield
and ultimate tensile strengths of pure aluminium

Wrought non-heat treatable alloys

Wrought heat treatable alloys

Casting alloys

The wrought nonheat treatable alloys:

cannot be strengthened by precipitation hardening
they are hardened primarily by cold working
The wrought nonheat treatable alloys include the commercially
pure aluminum series (1XXX)
aluminummanganese series (3XXX),
aluminumsilicon series (4XXX), some of the 4XXX alloys can be hardened by heat treatment
aluminummagnesium series (5XXX)
The 4XXX alloys are mainly used as welding and brazing filler metals.
Since the wrought nonheat treatable alloys are hardened primarily by cold working, they are not adequate for
load-bearing structural applications even at moderately elevated temperature (could start softening during
annealing) in service.
Although the wrought nonheat treatable alloys are of great commercial importance, they are not generally
candidates for structural airframe applications.

The wrought heat treatable alloys can be precipitation hardened to develop quite high strength levels
alloys include the 2XXX series (AlCu and AlCuMg),
6XXX series (AlMgSi),
7XXX series (AlZnMg and AlZnMgCu)
aluminumlithium alloys of the 8XXX alloy series
The 2XXX and 7XXX alloys, which develop the highest strength levels,
used for metallic airframe components; however, there are some minor applications for some of the 6XXX and
8XXX alloys.
The AlCu alloys of the 2XXX series,
The AlMgSi (6XXX)

medium strength alloys and some are classified as being

fusion weldable

The AlZnMg alloys of the 7XXX series

The AlCuMg alloys of the 2XXX series
The AlZnMgCu alloys of the 7XXX series

higher strength but are not fusion weldable

In reality, except for a limited number of the 2XXX alloys that are used for welded fuel tanks for launch vehicles,
aluminum welded structure is not widely used for aerospace structures.

friction stir welding technology

The wrought nonheat treatable alloys cannot be strengthened by

precipitation hardening; they are hardened primarily by cold working.
1XXX: Pure Al. The major characteristics of the 1XXX series are:
Strain hardenable
Exceptionally high formability, corrosion resistance, and electrical conductivity
Typical ultimate tensile strength range: 1027 ksi
Readily joined by welding, brazing, soldering

1000 alloys include cowl bumps and scoops on small civil aircraft. Alloy 1100 is sometimes used for
aircraft fuel tanks, fairings, oil tanks, and in the repair of wing tips and tanks.

2XXX: AlCu Alloys. The major characteristics of the 2XXX series are:
Heat treatable
High strength, at room and elevated temperatures

fuselage skins, lower wing panels which require

high fatigue resistance and control surfaces.
also used in non structural parts such as
fairings, cowlings, wheel pants and wing tips.

Typical ultimate tensile strength range:2762 ksi

Usually joined mechanically but some alloys are weldable
Not as corrosion resistant as other alloys
One of the most common is 2024 Al (Al4.4Cu1.5Mg)- used for many years in aircraft structures such as
stringers, longerons, spars, bulkheads, carry-throughs, stressed skins and trusses. These alloys are used
in damage-tolerant applications.
Newer alloys are being introduced with superior properties to 2024. For instance, 2054 is 1520% higher in
fracture toughness and twice the fatigue resistance of 2024.
Other 2000 series used in aircraft include 2018, 2025, 2048, 2117 and 2124.
Reducing impurities, in particular iron and silicon, has resulted in higher fracture toughness and better
resistance to fatigue crack initiation and crack growth.

alloying elements (Cu, Zn, Mg) in 2000

These elements react with aluminium during heat treatment to create intermetallic precipitates
(e.g.CuAl2, Al2CuMg, ZnAl) that increase the strength and fatigue resistance.
Mn and Cr are present in small amounts to produce dispersoid particles (e.g. Al 20Cu2Mn3, Al18Mg3Cr2)
that restrict grain growth and thereby increase the yield strength by grain boundary hardening.
The addition of trace amounts (0.10.2%) of Ti also reduces the grain size.
Si is added to reduce the viscosity of molten aluminium, thus making it easier to cast into thick
and complex shapes that are free of voids.
Fe is used to reduce hot cracking in the casting.
However, Si and Fe form coarse intermetallic particles (Al7Cu2Fe, Mg2Si) which lower the fracture
toughness, and, therefore, the amount of these elements is kept to a low concentration.

3XXX: AlMn Alloys. The major characteristics of the 3XXX series are:
High formability and corrosion resistance with medium strength
Typical ultimate tensile strength range: 1641 ksi
Readily joined by all commercial procedures
Hardened by strain hardening

which contains 1.2% Mn, is used as a nonstructural

in fairing, fillets, tanks, wheel pants, nose
bowls and cowlings in some aircraft. 3000 alloys
are mostly used in non-aerospace components,
such as automotive components (e.g. radiators,
interior panels and trim)

4XXX: AlSi Alloys. The major characteristics of the 4XXX series are:
Some heat treatable
The use of 4000 alloys in aircraft is
Good flow characteristics, medium strength
limited (because a brittle silicon
Typical ultimate tensile strength range: 2555 ksi phase). 4000 alloys are used in nonEasily joined, especially by brazing and Soldering aerospace applications, in particular
as brazing and welding filler

5XXX: AlMg Alloys. The major characteristics of the 5XXX series are:
Strain hardenable
Excellent corrosion resistance, toughness, weldability, moderate strength
Building and construction, automotive, cryogenic, marine applications
Typical ultimate tensile strength range: 1851 ksi
used in wing ribs, wing tips,
stiffeners, tanks,
ducting and framework.

6XXX: AlMgSi Alloys. The major characteristics of the 6XXX series are:
Heat treatable
High corrosion resistance, excellent extrudability; moderate strength
Typical ultimate tensile strength range: 1858 ksi
Readily welded by GMAW and GTAW methods
6000 alloys can be age-hardened with the formation of Mg 2Al3and Mg2Si precipitates.
6000 alloys are used in a wide range of non-aerospace components,

such as buildings, rail cars, boat hulls, ship superstructures and, increasingly,
in automotive components.
However, these alloys are rarely used in aircraft because of their low fracture
6061 (Al1%Mg0.6Si) is used occasionally in wing ribs, ducting, tanks, fairing and
framework, although this alloy is one of very few used in aircraft.

7XXX: AlZn Alloys. The major characteristics of the 7XXX series are:
Heat treatable
Very high strength; special high toughness versions
Typical ultimate tensile strength range: 3288 ksi

7000 alloys are therefore used in aircraft structures required to

carry higher stresses than 2000 alloy components, such as
upper wing surfaces, spars, stringers, framework, pressure
bulkheads and carry-throughs.

Mechanically joined

The 7000 alloys together with the 2000 alloys represent by far the most
common aluminium alloys used in aircraft.

The main alloying elements are copper and zinc

Magnesium is also an important alloying element.

high-strength precipitates [CuAl2, Mg2Al3, Al32(Mg, Zn)49] when aluminium is agehardened.

7000 alloys generally have higher strength than 2000 alloys.

New high-toughness aluminium alloys for fuselage skins have enabled significant
weight reductions through removal of some circumferential frames.

8XXX: Alloys with Al-Other Elements: The major characteristics of

the 8XXX series are:
Heat treatable
High conductivity, strength, hardness
Typical ultimate tensile strength range: 1760 ksi
Common alloying elements include Fe, Ni and Li
AlLi alloys are mainly used in military fighter aircraft
where cost is
secondary to structural performance.
For example, AlLiCu alloys are used in the fuselage
frames of the F16 (Flying Falcon) as a replacement for
8090 Al is used in the fuselage and lift frame of the EH 101
helicopter, again for improved fatigue performance and
lower weight (by 180 kg)
AlLi alloys are also used in the super lightweight tanks for
the space
shuttle, which provided a weight saving of over 3 tonne,

Precipitation hardening
The wrought heat treatable Al alloys can be precipitation hardened to
develop quite high strength levels.
Precipitation hardening consists of three steps:
(1) solution heat treating
(2) rapidly quenching to a lower temperature
(3) aging

Aluminum- Copper Alloy:

aluminum containing 4% copper is heated to 940F

Held it for 1 h, the copper will go into solution in the aluminum.

After solution heat treating, the alloy is quenched in cold water to
room temperature to keep the copper in solution
The alloy is then artificially aged at 340 F for 10 h.

During the aging process

very fine particles of aluminumcopper are precipitated

strength and hardness increases


due to the formation of submicroscopic precipitates that severely strain the matrix lattice

The strengthening effect is maximized when the precipitate is coherent with the matrix
A coherent precipitate is one in which the atomic
arrangement of both the precipitate and the matrix is the
same with no discontinuity in the lattice
The atomic spacings are different enough to distort the
crystal lattice
This causes an increase in strength by obstructing and
retarding dislocation movement

In the aluminumcopper system, these solute clusters of precipitate are called

Guinier-Preston (GP) zones which are solute rich domains that are fully coherent
with the matrix
GP zones are extremely fine with sizes in the range of tens of angstroms
Shape, size, and distribution of the GP zones depend on the specific alloy and
on the thermal and mechanical history of the product
The GP zones will normally develop on aging at room temperature

The progression of precipitation hardening in the aluminumcopper system

Super Saturated Solid Solution Clustering GP Zones

Typical aging curve for Al alloys

During heating, the GP zones develop an intermediate

tetragonal structure that forms as plates that maintains
coherency with the matrix and further increases the
strain in the matrix, providing peak strength levels.

On still further heating, is replaced by a second

intermediate precipitate which is not coherent with
the matrix and the strength starts to decrease, and
the alloy is now termed overaged.

Highest strength condition, both and

Both the precipitate particles themselves and the strains they produce in
the lattice structure inhibit dislocation motion, and thus both contribute to

Further heating of the alloy causes to transform to the equilibrium precipitate , which is
stoichiometric CuAl2.

The wrought heat treatable 2XXX alloys generally contain

Magnesium in addition to copper as an alloying element (can be aged at either room temperature or at
elevated temperature).
Titanium to refine the grain structure (ingot casting and transition element additions)
Manganese, chromium, and/or zirconium that form dispersoid particles (Al20Cu2Mn3, Al18Mg3Cr2, and
Al3Zr) which help control the wrought grain structure.

Iron and silicon are considered impurities and are held to an absolute minimum, because they form
intermetallic compounds (Al7Cu2Fe and Mg2Si) that are detrimental to both fatigue and fracture

The wrought heat treatable 7XXX alloys are even more responsive to precipitation hardening than the
2XXX alloys and can obtain higher strength levels.
The 7XXX alloys can be naturally aged (strength will gradually increase with increasing time and can
continue to do so for years)
7XXX alloys are artificially aged to produce a stable alloy.

The general types of heat treatments applied to aluminum and its

alloys are:
Preheating or homogenizing, to reduce chemical segregation of cast structures and to improve their
Annealing, to soften strain-hardened (work-hardened) and heat treated alloy structures, to relieve
stresses, and to stabilize properties and dimensions
Solution heat treatments, to effect solid solution of alloying constituents and improve mechanical

is defined
as the to
cold working,
hot working)
heat treatments,
provide treatment
hardening by(e.g.
of constituents
from solid

and thermal treatment (e.g. annealing, age-hardening) performed on an

aluminium product to achieve the desired level of metallurgical properties.


mper Designation for Aluminum Alloys

ditional designation of the state of the Al alloys

Al alloys can be precipitation hardened and workhardened to different extents

Types of strain hardening and thermal


Degree of strain

Designations for Aluminum Casting Alloys

1XX.X Second two digits indicate the

minimum percentage of Al,
Ex: 150.X - 99.50% Al.
Last digit (after decimal point) indicates
product forms.
0 = casting, 1 = ingot

light weight, moderate cost (for both the raw material and
fabrication processing), and good mechanical performance
including specific stiffness, specific strength, ductility and
fracture toughness.
Aluminium typically accounts for 6080% of the structural
weight of modern passenger airliners and 4060% for fighter
aircraft and helicopters.
Potential problems with using aluminium in aircraft
structures include
stress corrosion cracking; corrosion when in direct contact with
2000 (AlCu), 7000 (AlZnMg) and,
in fewer difficulty
cases, 8000
high-strength connections; and
The development of aluminium alloys
has proceeded in two distinct directions: one of the tensionsoftening
dominated sections of the airframe
use primarily
the 2000 alloys,
for the
at that
low temperatures
compression-dominated sections that use the 7000 alloys.
2000 alloys generally have better fatigue resistance and fracture toughness than 7000 alloys, and
therefore are used where these properties are important such as fuselage skins, lower wing panels
and control surfaces.
7000 alloys have higher strength than 2000 alloys and, therefore, are used in aircraft structures
that are required to carry heavier loads. 7000 alloys are used in upper wing surfaces, spars,
stringers, pressure bulkheads, and
fuselage frames.
8000 series alloys are characterised by high specific stiffness owing to the ability of lithium to
lower the density and increase the elastic modulus of aluminium. Many 8000 alloys also have

The use of 8000 alloys is currently restricted to a small number of aircraft and helicopter components
where high specific stiffness and excellent fatigue performance is critical.
Aircraft alloys are heat treated by age-hardening to maximise their strength properties. The alloys
are solution treated, quenched, and then thermally aged to increase the strength by
precipitation hardening. Other important strengthening processes in aluminium are solid solution
hardening, work hardening and grain-size refinement.
1000, 3000, 4000 and 5000 series cannot be heat treated to induce precipitation hardening
and, therefore, lack the strength and fatigue resistance needed in weight-efficient structures.
The susceptibility of aluminium to stress corrosion cracking increases with the improvement in
strength gained by thermal ageing. Special ageing treatments have been developed to minimise
the risk of stress corrosion damage in aluminium structures.

Titanium alloys for aerospace structures and engines

Moderate density
High strength
Long fatigue life
Fracture toughness
Creep strength excellent resistance to
corrosion and oxidation

airframe structures
landing gear components
jet engine parts

The early development of jet engines (originally built using heat-resistant steels and nickel alloys)
Not found in its free, pure metal form in nature but as oxides; ilmenite (FeTiO 3); rutile (TiO2); arizonite
(Fe2Ti3O9); perovskite (CaTiO3) and titanite (CaTiSiO5).
currently it accounts for 2530% of the weight of most modern engines

Titanium applications generally are classified into several main groups :

Aerospace Applications: such as engines and airframes.

Chemical Processing: Many chemical processing operations specify titanium to increase

equipment lifetime.

Petroleum: In petroleum exploration and production, flexible titanium pipe's light weight, makes it
an excellent material for deep sea production risers.
Automotive applications: Particularly in motorcycling racing, This area is extremely challenging
because of its cost sensitivity.
Consumer products: such as spectacle frames; cameras; watches; jewelries and various kinds of
sporting goods.
Biomedical field: Such as surgical implements and implants.
Architectural applications: Such as exterior walls and roofing materials.

Pure titanium crystalline structure undergoes a transformation from hcp ( at lower

temperature) to bcc ( at higher temperature) by increasing the temperature up to

and The mentioned single-phase regions are separated by two-phase region of

Alloying elements in titanium are usually classified in two groups of and stabilizing
additions depending on whether increase or decrease / transformation temperature of

Other stabilizers :
Zr, Hf, Ga, In

Other stabilizers :
Fe,Ni, Cu

equivalent = Al+ (Sn/5) +(Zr/6) + 10 (O+C+ 2N)

< 9% gives
> 9 % gives Ti3 Al (Hex)
Ti- Ti3 Al
alloys : Ti-5 Al-2.5 Sn
alloys: Ti-13V-11Cr-3 Al
alloys: Ti-6 Al-4V (550 C)
Alpha and near-alpha alloys : 56% aluminum
Elevated temperatures
Best creep resistance
Oxidation resistance
The addition of silicon (creep resistance) (precipitating fine silicides)
Cryogenic applications

The alphabeta alloys

Best balance of mechanical properties
Most widely used
Contain both alpha and beta phases at room temperature
Can be heat treated to higher strength levels
Alphabeta alloys have good strength at room temperature and for short
times at elevated temperatures
They are not noted for their creep resistance
The weldability of many of these alloys is poor due to their two-phase

The metastable beta alloys:

Beta phase is retained to room temperature
Exhibit much better formability than the alpha or alphabeta alloys.
Some of the beta alloys can be formed at room temperature
The beta alloys can be solution treated and aged (STA) to higher strength
levels (retaining sufficient toughness)
The biggest drawbacks of the beta alloys are increased densities due to
alloying elements, reduced ductility and some have limited weldability.

hanical Strength, ductility and toughness in Ti alloys:

rease the strength and decrease ductility

Nitrogen: Strength increases (interstitial hardening), ductility and fracture toughnes
ydrogen embrittlement (0.015%)
- Low temperature phase
- High temperature phase
Phase start cooling it will precipitate out of
on the composition, Vol % of phase is also going to precipitate)

fraction of stabilizers are added to alloy

stabilizes at room temperat

e alloys where, + is possible at room temperature:

High temp --- phase
start cooling ---- phase

depending on the morphology of inside Properties are different

Good strength
Good ductility
Good toughness

Good strength
Good toughness

Spherical : good ductility

can be deformed easily
No tri-axial stresses
do not offer resistance to crack propagation
stress concentration is more at tips
tri-axial stresses
randomly oriented acicular structure

both type of particles:

Morphology of the second phase particularly depends on the way we heat-treat the sampl
particularly the temperature at which precipitates comes out

gh temp phase - cooled very fast low temp

Precipitation occurs at low temp (Widmanstatten)(acicular)
(diffusivity is very low)
Precipitates with coherent/semi coherent with the matrix)
If the precipitation occurs closer to transformation temp
(spherical) (T is very small)

at low temp or high T the growth rate of coherent precipitates are faster
Because precipitation of incoherent precipitates does
not occur at high under cooling rates
At high temp or low T growth rate ratio=1
Two stage annealing
Heat it to beta-----cool it suddenly to just below transition temp-----and hold it
----- before it completes precipitation quench it

Equiaxed Ti alloy

Shape Memory Alloys

"Shape Memory" describes the effect of restoring the original shape
of a plastically deformed sample by heating it.
This phenomenon results from a crystalline phase change known as
"thermoelastic martensitic transformation".
phase change or change in crystal structure
At temperatures below the transformation temperature. shape
memory alloys are martensitic.
In this condition. their microstructure is characterized by "selfaccommodating twins",
The manensite is soft and can be deformed quite easily by detwinning. Heating above the transformation temperature recovers
the original shape

The most effective and common shape-memory alloy is nickeltitanium (titanium content is
Nickeltitanium alloys -Nitinol ( Flaps, Ailerons, rudders etc.,)
Several non-titanium alloys also have shape-memory properties
copperaluminiumnickel alloys
Nickeltitanium alloys being considered for use in aircraft exist as two phases:
martensite and austenite
A shape-memory alloy in the undeformed (original) condition exists as twinned martensite.
The microstructure of twinned martensite consists of grains separated by twin boundaries.
These boundaries can be considered as planes of symmetry with a mirror-image of identical
bonding and atomic configuration in both directions.
When twinned martensite is deformed under an externally applied load the twin boundaries
move to produce deformed martensite.
This change is called a displacive transformation, which involves the co-operative
rearrangement of atoms into a different, more stable crystal structure without a corresponding
change in volume.

Shape-memory Alloys

Schematic of a flexible smart aircraft

wing containing shape-memory alloy

Reversible transformation
Thermo elastic martensitic transformation (she
Very small strains

Effect of load and temperature on the

shape-memory effect in nickel
titanium alloys


Shape Memory Alloys


Mf Ms As Af
Space shuttles
Fasteners, actuators, couplings
Biomedical- bone plates, teeth braces, artificial muscles

Chemical composition
Strains (<8.5%)

seudo or Super elasticity

Temperature not involved (constant te

Strains are deformation elastic strains

Pseudo or Super elasticity

Requirement of space and aerospace materials, land base and
aerospace material.
Identification of components of aero planes, space vehicles and
missiles: materials usage in each sections and critically of the
components and their materials selection
Gas turbines and aero engines
Ti alloys
Al alloys
Mg alloys
Ni and Co based super alloys
Special Steels
Intermetallics, composites
Ceramics and their composite
New high strength materials
Creep, fatigue and corrosion

high strength steels normally account for only about 515% of the airframe structural
landing gear components, control surface hinges, and helicopter transmissions

disadvantages of high strength steels are primarily

their high densities and susceptibility to brittle fracture
steel alloys are considerably heavier than other structural materials such as aluminum and titanium
susceptible to hydrogen embrittlement and stress corrosion cracking, both of which can cause sudden brittle

The medium carbon low alloy steels and high fracture toughness steels are used primarily in aircraft landing

Peritectic isotherm


Eutectic isotherm

Eutectic isotherm
Hypo eutectic Hyper eutectic



Medium carbon low alloy steels

High fracture toughness steels
Maraging steels
Precipitation hardening stainless steels

aircraft landing gears

structural components

steel is austenitized at a temperature sufficiently above

1333F for some period of time and then quenched to room
temperature, it does not convert to the normal BCC


martensite structure is essentially a BCC structure distorted by interstitial carbon atoms into a tetragonal
The distortion severely strains the crystalline lattice and dramatically increases the strength and hardness

steel extremely brittle

Reheated or
to restore some ductility and toughness

strength decreases with increasing tempering temperature

A key variable in heat treating alloy steels

cooling rate during quenching

Alloying element

Hardening is done by
Quenching or tempering
In Maraging Steels and Precipitation hardened steels strengthened by
Precipitation hardening
The maraging steels, with nominal nickel ~ 18% and
carbon ~0.03%


on air cooling from the

austenitizing temperature

Even very slow cooling of heavy sections produces a fully martensitic structure.
However, this low carbon martensite is not the high strength martensite that forms in the higher
carbon alloy steels.
The low carbon martensite that is formed is a tough and ductile ironnickel martensite.

martensite forms in maraging steel upon slow cooling

high nickel content which

suppresses the formation of
ferrite and pearlite.

soft compared with the martensite formed in plain carbon steels

by quenching

softness is an advantage because it results in high ductility and toughness without the need for
The softness allows maraging steel to be machined into structural components, unlike hard
that must
to avoid
steel be
a final
of strengthening
ageing before being used in aircraft components.
The strength in the maraging steels results during
age hardening at 480500 C to form precipitates of
Ni3Mo,Ni3Ti, Ni3Al and Fe2Mo (fine dispersion of hard
precipitates within the soft martensite matrix)
carbon content is extremely low

high strength, ductility, and


Carbide precipitation is practically eliminated owing to the low carbon composition.

Cobalt is used to reduce the solubility limit of molybdenum and thereby increase the
volume fraction of Mo-rich precipitates (e.g. Ni3Mo, Fe2Mo).
Cobalt also assists in the uniform dispersion of precipitates through the martensite
Cobalt accelerates the precipitation process and thereby shortens the ageing time to reach

Maraging Steels
high strength steels with very low carbon contents (0.030% maximum) and additions of
substitutional alloying elements that produce age hardening of ironnickel martensites.
The term maraging was derived from the combination of the words martensite and age
high hardenability and high strength combined with good toughness.
18% nickel, 79% cobalt, 35% molybdenum, less than 1% titanium, and very low carbon contents.
Carbon is actually viewed as an impurity and kept to as low a level as possible to minimize the
formation of titanium carbide (TiC), which can adversely impact strength, ductility, and toughness.
annealing or hot working temperature ----air cooling (maraging steels transform to a relatively soft
Due to their extremely low carbon content, the fracture toughness of the maraging steels is
considerably higher than that of conventional high strength steels.
resistant to hydrogen embrittlement, susceptible to stress corrosion cracking than the medium
carbon low alloy steels.
Processing techniques that improve the fracture toughness,
vacuum melting, proper hot working, and keeping residual impurities low, also improve the
resistance to stress corrosion cracking.
Aerospace grades are tripled melted using air, vacuum induction and vacuum arc remelting, to
minimize the residual elements carbon, manganese, sulfur, and phosphorous and the gases
oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen.
Carbon and sulfur are the most deleterious impurities (brittle carbide, sulfide, carbonitride, and
carbosulfide inclusions that can crack when the metal is strained, lowering the fracture toughness
and ductility)

Precipitation hardened Steels:


contain austenitic structure

annealed or solution treated condition

After fabrication operations are complete, they can be transformed to martensite

simple conditioning treatment followed by precipitation hardening
(heating to a high enough temperature to remove carbon from
solidsolution and precipitate it in the form of chromium carbide
austenite unstable, and it starts transforming to martensite on cooling
The final step is precipitation hardening
the alloy is reheated to 9001200F
During this aging treatment, aluminum in the martensite combines with nickel to produce precipitates of NiAl
and Ni3Al
martensite after solution treating
They are therefore harder and stronger than the semiaustenitic grades before precipitation hardening
Since they are already martensitic, they only require the final precipitation hardening treatment to attain
maximum strength and hardness.

recipitation Hardening Stainless Steels

ease of fabrication, high strength, good ductility, and excellent corrosion resistance.
Stainless steels are more difficult to forge than alloy steels because they maintain
greater strength at elevated temperatures, and they have to be forged at lower
temperatures to avoid microstructural damage, and the PH grades are the most
difficult of the stainless steels to forge.
Medium Carbon Steels: Typical airframe applications include landing gear components, shafts, gears
carbon 0.300.50%,
manganese, silicon, nickel, chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, and boron (hardening,
higher strength and toughness)
Medium carbon low alloy steels are normally hardened to develop the desired strength.
Some are also carburized and then heat treated to produce a combination of high surface
hardness and good core toughness.
Identified by the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) four digit system of numbers.
The first two digits identify the specific alloy group while the last two digits give the
approximate carbon content in hundredths of a percent.

4130 : 41XX series of steels (chromiummolybdenum steels), 30 - carbon content is 0.30%

41XX : 0.50.95% chromium, 0.130.20% molybdenum,
Chromium is added to increase hardenability and strength;
susceptible to temper embrittlement.
4130 must be water quenched (low-to intermediate hardenability ).
It has good tensile, fatigue, and impact properties up to about 700F; the impact properties
at cryogenic temperatures are low.
4340, 4340V(vanadium modified), silicon modified 300M
43XX: chromium -molybdenum Ni (0.50.8% Cr, 0.20% Mo, and 1.8% Ni)
Nickel and chromium: improves strength and provides greater hardenability, higher impact
strength, and better fatigue resistance.
Molybdenum: further increases hardenability and minimizes the susceptibility to temper
good fatigue and creep resistance.
4340 can be oil quenched / water quenching.
water quenching significantly increases the danger of cracking during quenching.
It is immune to temper embrittlement.
very susceptible to stress corrosion cracking (when heat treated to the highest strength levels
(220280 ksi)).
4140: similar to 4130 except for a higher carbon content,
higher strengths, Low formability and weldability
When heat treated to high strength levels, 4140 is susceptible to hydrogen embrittlement.

4340V (modified with vanadium):

stable high melting point carbide forms (Pinning grain boundaries and preventing grain growth during hot working
serves as a grain refiner that increases toughness
Silicon added to the basic 4340 composition forms the alloy 300M
contains 1.6% silicon
silicon content of 4340 is increased to 2%, (provides deeper hardenability, increases solid solution strengthening,
and provides better higher temperature resistance)
The increase in toughness is attributed to silicon retarding the precipitation of cementite from retained austenite during
tempering and to the stabilization of carbides.
sulfur and phosphorus levels are kept very low to reduce temper embrittlement and increase toughness and transverse
The 300M is also vacuum arc remelted to lower the hydrogen and oxygen contents (minimizes the formation of oxide
inclusions and increases toughness)
300Ms high silicon and molybdenum contents (extremely prone to decarburization during heat treatment, and when heat
treated to strength levels above 200 ksi, it is also susceptible to hydrogen embrittlement)
High strength steels are available in a variety of quality levels
depending on the type of melting practice used
While many of these steels were originally air melted,
advanced melting techniques
vacuum degassing, electroslag remelting (ESR), VAR, and double vacuum melting (vacuum induction melting
followed by vacuum arc remelting (VIMVAR)) for improved cleanliness and higher quality.
These methods reduce both the quantity of dissolved gases (hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen) and the non-metallic

High Fracture Toughness Steels

HP-9-4-30, AF1410, and AerMet 100 have somewhat lower carbon contents than the medium carbon
low alloy steels 4340 and 300M.
The lower carbon content significantly contributes to their better ductilities and higher fracture
high nickel contents : deep hardening and toughness
Cobalt: Prevent retained austenite
vacuum melted (fracture toughness)
not corrosion resistant (parts must be protected with a corrosion resistant coating).
HP-9-4-30: (available as billet, bar, rod, plate, sheet, and strip)
9Ni-4Co family of steels (high fracture toughness steels, capable of being heat treated to high
strength levels.
0.30% carbon, 9% nickel, and 4% cobalt.
Double tempering is normally employed to prevent retained austenite.
It can be formed by bending, rolling, or shear spinning.
Heat treated HP-9-4-30 can be welded using GTAW without preheating or post-heating.
Welded parts should be stress relieved at 1000 F for 24 h.

AF1410: specifically to have high strength, excellent fracture toughness, excellent weldability
14% cobalt, 10% nickel, 2% chromium, 1% molybdenum, and 0.15% carbon.
good toughness at cryogenic temperatures and has high strength and stability at
temperatures up to 800 F.
The general corrosion resistance is similar to the maraging steels.
The alloy is highly resistant to stress corrosion cracking compared to other high strength
AerMet 100: nickelcobalt high strength steel
replacing older steels such as 4340, 300M, HP 9-4-30, and AF1410 in many applications due
to its good combination of strength
good toughness at cryogenic temperatures
It is highly resistant to stress corrosion cracking compared to other high strength steels of the
same strength level.

Magnesium Alloys:
Crystal structure HCP, a = 0.3202, c = 0.5199, c/a = 1.624
Atomic diameter 0.320 easily alloyed with Al, Zn, Ag, Zr
Density (g.cm-3)- 1.74
Melting point (o C)- 650
Alloyed with Al, Zn, Mn, rare earth metals to produce alloys with high-strength-to weight ratios.
Tends to form compounds with negative valence ion (due to strong electropositive) rather than solid solution.
Not readily plastically deformed at RT due to HCP structure.
Cast magnesium alloys dominate 85-90% of all magnesium alloy products, with Mg-Al-Zn system being the most widely used.
Low strength and toughness and corrosion resistance.
Easily flammable with oxygen Limit applications of magnesium alloy

A Aluminium
B Bismuth
C Copper
D Cadmium
E Rare earths
F Iron
G Magnesium
H Thorium
K Zirconium
L Lithium
M - Manganese
N Nickel
P Lead
The letters stand for the two major alloying elements
Q - Silver
first letter the highest amount
R - Chromium
second letter the second highest amount
S Silicon
The numbers stand for the amount of the two major
T Tin
alloying elements
W Yttrium
first number following the letters stands for the
Z - zinc
wt% of the first letter element.
second number stands for the wt% of the second
letter element