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Application of titanium alloy in aviation industry

In the 1950s, the United States developed firstly the titanium alloy Ti-13V-11Cr-3Al in high-speed awacs, making this light-weight, high-strength, heat-treatable alloy was used for flight. In the 1960s, titanium alloy was widely used in non-military aviation engines and wide-body jets such as Boeing 747s.

In the 1970s, the application of titanium alloy in aviation industry accounted for about 80% of the total titanium alloy market in the United States. In the other developed country such as Europe, Russia and Japan, titanium and titanium alloy applied on aircraft has increased significantly.

Titanium is another new lightweight structural material applied in aerospace and aviation field after steel and aluminum alloy, and its application level has become an important mark to measure the advanced level of aircraft material selection.

Titanium alloy is one of the important structural materials of aircraft body and frame. As a kind of weight reduction material, titanium alloy used in commercial and military aircraft has increased steadily in the past 50 years and the usage of titanium alloy on military aircraft has reached 30%~40%. The United States is the first country to successfully apply the design criteria of damaged safety and damage tolerance to advanced fighter aircraft.

The F-22 fighter uses a large amount of damage tolerance titanium alloy and its large integral components to meet the design requirements of high weight loss and long life. The amount of titanium alloy  in civil aircraft can also account for about 10%~15% of its total usage, among which the Boeing 787 airframe reaches 15%, which sets the highest record of titanium alloy used in the airframe. Modern aircraft fuselage, hydraulic pipes, landing gear, cockpit window frames, skin, fasteners, doors, wing structure, fan blades, compressor blades and other parts are mostly made of titanium alloy.

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