Because it is two thirds lighter than aluminum while it maintains comparable strength, magnesium is the perfect metal for the aerospace industry. Concerns about its flammability and its tendency to corrode previously limited magnesium’s use, but since these issues have been resolved the metal is becoming a more and more popular material for aerospace components. Modern alloys can withstand very high temperatures and are nearly impossible to ignite as a result of prolonged intensive scrapping. In fact, seven years of testing and research by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed that magnesium is safe for use in aircraft seats. During those tests modern, high-tech magnesium alloy bars exposed to fire showed similar or even better results than aluminum. Besides weight reduction, magnesium alloys provide higher ductility, stiffness and density, which helps the metal perform better in crash tests. Our team can produce custom magnesium components for aircraft exteriors and interiors according to your requirements.
Another prospective material for use in aircraft components is fiber. Through our partnership with SMW, Lightest Components engineers are developing new composite FML (Fiber Metal Laminates) materials. These materials interlace fiber and thin layers of metal to provide further weight reduction while maintaining equal strength and other desired characteristics. The R&D project, called AeroFML, is conducted with the active support of Airbus. According to preliminary test results the Almascan alloy developed during this project proved to be ideal for use in large aerospace components.
Today, titanium alloy components are very common in aircraft due to their excellent strength and corrosion resistance. Pure titanium is 50% lighter than steel, but notably heavier than magnesium and aluminum, which negatively affects speed and fuel consumption. Since reducing fuel consumption in a competitive environment is crucial for civil airlines, we are developing new technology for manufacturing lightweight, ultra-strong, wrought titanium components. Our high-tech alloys and optimized production process should help significantly reduce the weight of titanium parts used in planes.