The aerospace industry is one of the largest consumers of titanium products and materials. Airfame structures made from titanium include the landing gear, wing structures, structure connecting fasteners, springs and tubing for hydraulics. Titanium is used widely due to titanium’s high strength to weight ratio, along with the high levels of reliability under large numbers of cycles and extremes of temperature. Due to the differing sized and shaped components the full range of titanium mill products are used in construction, including titanium bars, titanium tubes, titanium sheets, and in recent years titanium powder for use in additive manufacturing.
The use of titanium in airframes dates back as far as the 1960’s where it was used primarily in military aircraft and its use later moved into commercial aircraft for which today it makes up the primary material in aircraft design. Titanium is one of the main metals used in aircraft including aluminium, ferrous alloys and nickel.
titanium landing gear shaft. The choice of using titanium in airframes is because of the properties that the material exhibits including titanium:
- Having a high strenght to weight ratio
- High reliability
- Resitance to corrosion
- Reduced thermal expansion
- Mechanical properties
- Position on galvanic series
Titanium is found in all areas of the airframe, from the miniature connectors to the hydraulic piston tubing, springs and fasteners, to the landing gear, forged wing structures and other highly stressed parts.
The evolution of new components in aircraft will make use of titanium as a primary metal and as such increase the number of applications.