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Thread: Aircraft steel body

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Nov 2016
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    Default Aircraft steel body

    Hi everyone,

    I was wondering if you knew what material aircrafts are made of? The exterior I mean. Cars usually don't use stainless steel as it tends to be too expensive, but is it used in aircraft? I mean the surroundings are much more demanding and vicious- so they must simply be using stainless steels, right? What other material is there? And if it IS steel, then what grade? While stainless steel does have excellent corrosion and wear resistance properties, I'm not sure they are sufficient for aircraft. Is the steel galvanized on top? Hardened? Or is it a 400 grade?

  2. #2
    Junior Member
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    Jun 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by kloster View Post
    Hi everyone,

    I was wondering if you knew what material aircrafts are made of? The exterior I mean. Cars usually don't use stainless steel as it tends to be too expensive, but is it used in aircraft? I mean the surroundings are much more demanding and vicious- so they must simply be using stainless steels, right? What other material is there? And if it IS steel, then what grade? While stainless steel does have excellent corrosion and wear resistance properties, I'm not sure they are sufficient for aircraft. Is the steel galvanized on top? Hardened? Or is it a 400 grade?

    since aircrafts usually not made from wood and paper anymore they started to use Aluminium and very modern Aircrafts are made of carbon fiber or a mix of both.... was this even a serious question ?

  3. #3
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    Aluminum. Primarily 2000-series and 7000-series alloys (2024-T3, 7075-T6 are the most common). Some 6000-series aluminum on interior or lightly loaded parts.

    There is some steel (CRES and carbon steel) utilized in select locations (highly loaded areas such as landing gear, pylons, engine cases, etc.) The most common CRES is probably 301 1/2-Hard or 17-4.

    You'll also find quite a bit of titanium in modern designs, commonly Ti-6Al-4V or similar alloys. You'll find more exotic alloys in the engines and particularly high-stress areas.

    Then of course your most modern designs utilize bonded carbon fiber for primary structure. Hexcel's M20 is probably the most common across both manufacturers.

    EDIT: I see now that this is the model aircraft forum. In that case, I'd say your average die-cast is probably 6061 or some other cheapo-alloy aluminum...

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