The use of titanium in various aerospace applications started in the 1960s and has continued to evolve over the years. At first, titanium alloys were utilized to create materials and parts needed for military programs, but it has now grown to also include commercial applications.
Titanium possesses specific attributes and properties that make it a top choice in aerospace applications. This metal has:
- Good resistance to corrosion
- High strength to weight ratio
- Excellent thermal expansion
- Outstanding mechanical properties
In comparison to other metals, titanium is a lot more lightweight, long-lasting, and stronger. It can operate at extreme temperature values, ranging from sub-zero to 600 degrees Celsius. It can undergo high stress and various welding and forming processes to produce titanium sheets, tubes, meshes, pipes, and other commercial products.
Titanium is used to create different aircraft parts. For instance, aircraft engines require materials that can withstand very low and very high temperatures, and titanium can offer that. Shafts, blades, discs, casings, fans, nozzles, and plugs are just a number of aircraft engine parts that are made of titanium alloys.
When it comes to airframes, titanium alloys that possess up to 1200MPa are the best choice. The “Blackbird”, the first aircraft/war plane that made use of titanium expansively, utilized titanium alloys for its skin and structure because of the excellent aerodynamic properties that can help improve aircraft speeds.
Nowadays, titanium alloys are also used to make lightweight and small fasteners, large wing beams, and landing gear trucks. One good example is the Boeing 777 aircraft that we have today, which empty weight is made up of approximately 10% titanium.
Titanium Alloys Commonly Used In Aerospace/Aircraft Applications
- Ti6Al4v – This is a high strength titanium alloy that is widely used for general purposes.
- Ti6Al2Sn4Zr6Mo (6-2-4-6) – This is known for its high resistance to oxidation, and frequently used in aircraft engines.
- Ti10V2Fe3Al (10-2-3) – This is a titanium beta forging alloy that is utilized to make landing gears for 777 aircrafts.
- Ti3Al2.5V – A medium strength titanium alloy utilized in making hydraulic tubes.
- Ti15V3Cr3Sn3Al (15-3-3-3) – Possesses high strength and heat treatable, this beta sheet titanium alloy is commonly used in airframes and engines.