Aerospace is rated as one of the fast-growing industries in the US. The USITA estimates that the sector contributed over $150 billion to the economy. This growth means more work manufacturing aircraft and spacecraft parts and components for aerospace companies.
Compared with other industries, aerospace is entirely different considering that part failure is dire; everything needs to be right and work perfectly always. Brackets need to be in place, and all gears need to turn flawlessly.
A manufacturer’s ability to produce parts consistently while maintaining these exacting standards can mean the difference between life and death in aerospace applications, so finding an OEM & NPI partner with proven experience in this field is essential.
This article is an overview of Aerospace machined parts, Aerospace machining materials, and more.
What is Aerospace?
Aerospace is more than just the designing and production of aircraft – it’s about the designing and production of an entire industry. From traditional casting methods to cutting-edge metal additive manufacturing, there are many varied ways to produce materials for aerospace applications.
In particular, what stands out is aerospace CNC machining, which sits on the spectrum between tradition and innovation by offering a new level of flexibility when it comes to both materials and design.
Aerospace manufacturing is a niche segment of aerospace and spacecraft parts manufacturing that deals with design, fabrication, assembly, testing, and quality control of aircraft, spacecraft, and other aerospace vehicles. A part may be developed using basic wire-cutting procedures or sophisticated computerized machining equipment.
The aerospace industry was one of the earliest users of computers to design products. Aerospace parts manufacturers perform all necessary processing operations to make aerospace components such as spacecraft parts and winged vehicle components.
Aerospace Machined Parts
It’s hard to imagine an airplane without at least one part that the precision process of aerospace machining has manufactured.
For aircraft, titanium jet engine components are created with aerospace machining. In addition, aerospace machining is responsible for many other parts on airplanes, such as lightweight plastic interior cabin parts.
Aerospace machining is done using computer numerical control (CNC) machines to create parts with various shapes and sizes while maintaining their required strength and precision.
Aerospace machining can be used for end-use and prototypes parts. However, the ned use must meet certain safety standards, certifications and criteria.
A few examples of parts that lend themselves well to this type of production are small plastic pieces, like those on an airplane’s interior cabin walls, or bulky assemblies, like gears for commercial airliners. Below are some machinable aerospace parts:
- Engine housings
- Cabin parts
- Seating, armrests, and trays
- Oxygen generation systems
- Landing gear components
- Turbine blades and other jet engine components
- Filter bodies for liquid and air filtration systems
- Motion controls
- Electrical connectors for electrical systems
- Fuselage components
- Shafts for power transfer
- Wing’s ribs
- Missile housings
Aerospace Machining Materials
Aerospace parts are used in commercial and military aircraft, rockets, missiles, satellites, and space stations. They also form an integral part of airplanes, helicopters, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Titanium and aluminum reign supreme in aerospace due to their lightweight and durability.
One of the most abundant metallic elements on Earth, it is used in most modern aircraft and spacecraft. It’s A light, strong metal used to create heat shields, spacecraft parts, and much more.
The titanium industry surpasses all others when it comes to using titanium. This should come as no surprise as the metal has an excellent strength-to-weight ratio, resistant to corrosion, and holds up under even the most extreme conditions.
It’s a vital part of the aerospace industry and will continue to be for years to come. Aircraft that use titanium for their many parts inc
Although not as strong as steel, aluminum is less expensive and very light in weight. This makes it ideal for spacecraft parts manufacturing. Aluminum can also be anodized, which means that it can be colored and given a protective film to make it more durable or aesthetically pleasing.
Most importantly, aluminum withstands heat better than most other metals in aerospace components manufacturing. In addition, it is durable and easy to work with because of its malleability. It’s also resistant to corrosion and can be easily shaped into complex shapes using state-of-the-art machinery.
The most common aluminum alloy in the aerospace industry is Aluminum 7075, which has a strong fatigue resistance despite being difficult to machine. This aluminum alloy can be found in an aircraft’s fuselage, wings, and support structure components due to its durability and low-weight properties.
Inconel is an iron-chromium-based superalloy designed for use in extreme temperatures. The Special Metals Corporation has developed a range of Inconel alloys for various needs, such as high-temperature turbines and exhaust systems.
Inconel is one of two nickel alloys used in aerospace components manufacturing. It’s a versatile alloy that can create parts that withstand very high temperatures and resist corrosion.
It also has good mechanical properties like high yield strength, tensile strength, and good fatigue strength. However, wrought Inconel 600 is best suited for continuous use at extremely high or cryogenic temperatures below -300 F (-184 C).
It resists oxidation even at extremely high temperatures while boasting higher strength than other grades of Inconel; it’s hardenable with carbide precipitation heat treatment.
Advantages of stainless steel in spacecraft and aerospace parts manufacturing include its high tensile strength, resistance to corrosion, and non-magnetic properties. In addition, stainless steel is a dense metal that can be easily machined and welded with low heat input.
Many aerospace components are manufactured from stainless steel because it meets a range of industry standards.
Liquid Silicone Rubber
Aerospace and space-related industries make heavy use of liquid silicone rubber. LSR has a relatively high modulus, meaning it maintains its shape when subjected to pressure, making it ideal for aeronautics applications where weight is at a premium.
In addition, LSR is nonreactive to most chemicals, making it attractive in chemical processing applications. It also has excellent dielectric strength, suitable for electrical manufacturing processes such as cable-making.
Leading Supplier and Quality Control Experts
With over a decade of experience, Syncfab has established itself as one of North America’s leading OEM and NPI services suppliers.
Our goal is simple: Deliver aerospace component inspection services that help our clients surpass their industry standards every time.
From design review and pre-production samples to post-production validations and testing, we’ve got you covered! Contact us today for information on how we can streamline your business operations.