Aluminum Alloy Aircraft Products: Performance and Manufacturing Considerations

3rd talk of the  special seminar series on "Current Topics of Advanced Aluminum Alloys"

In less than 100 years, aluminum has revolutionized the possibilities and experience of human flight. During this time, aluminum aircraft have carried passengers and cargo to all parts of the world, fought wars, and saved lives after natural and manmade disasters. Aluminum is still a dominant material of construction for a large percentage of commercial aircraft, but faces stiff competition from titanium and carbon fiber composites. We will discuss aluminum alloy products as they have evolved and are currently used in passenger aircraft applications, starting from the viewpoints of airplane manufacturers and airline operators. Aluminum products must deliver safe, reliable, cost-effective performance in aircraft expected to be in service for 30 years or more. The talk will focus on:

  • Requirements for aircraft aluminum products
  • Current and emerging manufacturing processes for aircraft: machining, forming, joining, and finishing
  • Alloys, tempers, and product forms required to meet the unique challenges of flight
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