Titanium! The Bridge to Composites
The continuing demand for higher performance and lighter weight aircraft structure has led to the development of new lightweight composite materials possessing great strength. Sufficient confidence has been developed in high strength resin matrix composites such as boron/epoxy to permit their use in primary aircraft load carrying structure. Weight studies have shown that a very significant 20 percent weight reduction can be achieved through the use of composites in empennage control surfaces. This is an application that has been made possible primarily because of the compatibility of these composites with titanium which is unique in its ability to be efficiently coupled with composite materials. It is titanium that permits the composite to be effectively joined to the conventional metal airframe. Full-scale composite empennage hardware is currently in production, and this advancement has been achieved by employing titanium as an integral part of the composite design.
KeywordsHoneycomb Core Bonding Pressure Picture Frame Corrosion Resistant Steel Service History
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