One of the requirements for the safe operation of any aircraft design is not only its mechanical capabilities, but its structural integrity. Due to the fact that an airplane will experience vast differences in temperatures and pressures as it ascends and descends to differing altitudes, many normal metals will simply not be able to resist these forces. This is particularly important for the more delicate parts of a plane. So, it should have begun to become obvious why Inconel alloy metal sheets are so very important in modern times. Still, let’s take a quick look at what metals can be found in these sheets and a handful of their most beneficial uses aboard an aircraft. You may very well be surprised.
Strength and Welding Performance
These sheets are known as “super alloys”, and for good reason. They contain special combinations of such metals as iron, titanium, columbium and niobium. Why is this so very important? The answer lies in the fact that by adjusting levels of these and other metals, different properties of Inconel 718 sheet will be offered. In the case of these durable and adaptable sheets, the two qualities that they are prized for in the aircraft industry are their strength and their ability to be easily welded. Usually, these two traits are mutually exclusive. However, this sheet will retain both of these qualities. Therefore, it is a perfect choice for parts of an aircraft that will require tensile strength and yet will need to be attached to other metals without sacrificing structural integrity.
Also, another key benefit associated with the Inconel 718 sheet is that it is highly temperature resistant. This is applicable to both extremely cold environments (such as outside of an aircraft) or extremely hot atmospheres (such as inside of an engine). So, some of the key locations in an aircraft where these sheets can be found include:
- Fuel tanks
- Engine blades and turbines
- High tension seals (such as those used in hydraulics)
So, this should illustrate the numerous uses that this type of alloy in its plate for can offer the engineer. Obviously, such plates will come in different shapes, sizes and ranges of thickness. This further contributes to their truly versatile nature. As the aircraft industry continues to advance, it can only e expected that these truly space-age plates will be here for some time to come. These are a few of the reasons why such materials are so very popular and safe to use.