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Role of steel in the aerospace industry

The aerospace industry is one of the fastest-growing industries globally. This Industry is one among the key drivers of the economic growth of India. The segments in the aerospace industry include civil aviation, military aviation and space. This industry manufactures aircraft, space vehicles, guided missiles, aircraft engines, and related components. The industry requires the highest standards of equipment, parts, components and designs. Steel is one of the most widely used materials in the industry due to its fantastic strength to weight ratio. Steel typically comprises around 13% of the materials used in an aircraft.

Steel forms a significant part of the aerospace industry. Owing to its excellent properties, steel is widely employed in the making of engines, exhaust ducts, landing gears, motor cases, fuel tank, springs, fasteners etc. The most important characteristic of steel is its durability. Its strength, hardness and resistance to heat make it ideal for the use. Moreover steel is cost-efficient along with being light-weight. Steel is also easy to weld and can be reformed easily. All these reasons come together to make steel the most favorable material to be used in aerospace industry. 

Let’s take a look at the applications of steel in aerospace components: 

  • Shaft for engines: High quality steel is used for the construction of main shaft of engine owing to the combinations of very high strength and creep resistance. The steels used in the shafts are of medium carbon grades.
  • Landing gears: Steel is also used for landing gears. The high strength and toughness of steel makes it far more suitable to handle incredible amounts of pressure involved during both take-off and landing.
  • Motor casing: Low alloy steel is a perfect choice for motor casing due to its ultra-high strength, wear resistance & ability to withstand tremendous pressure.
  • Exhaust & Engine: The higher temperature resistance of steel makes it an exceptional solution for use in exhaust & engines.
  • Steel Skins: High-speed and supersonic jets also utilize steel in their skin as it is resistant to the heat caused by the friction in the air created by such extensive speeds.
  • Fuel Tank: These too are again made of steel.  

Well, the list goes on and on. The bottom line is that the contribution of steel particularly in the aerospace industry, is beyond match and highly incomparable. Known for its strength and durability against heat and force, steel has become an integral part in the aerospace industry.