The world’s first aircraft (the Wright Flyer) was unveiled in 1903, and it was far from perfect. We’ve come a long way since then, and modern aircraft are incredibly advanced.
In the aerospace industry, material choices are incredibly important. The components of any aircraft need to be precise and reliable, so cutting corners isn’t an option. Composite manufacturing has become highly popular due to the many benefits that composite materials offer.
In this guide, we’ll look at why composite materials are so important to the aerospace industry. Keep reading for everything you need to know.
Benefits of Composites in the Aerospace Industry
Perhaps the most well-known benefit of aerospace composites is their strength-to-weight ratios. Reducing the weight of an aircraft is ideal, as it can make them more efficient, but they also need to be sufficiently durable. Many composite materials are very lightweight while still being stronger than most alternatives.
Composites can be molded into very complex configurations, which is also ideal in aerospace. It’s possible to make custom parts with ease while maintaining a high degree of accuracy.
Another key benefit is that composites are very resistant to fatigue and weathering, which is vital for aerospace materials. Composites can withstand extreme temperatures, making them ideal for various aircraft parts.
Carbon Fiber Materials
Carbon fiber is the most well-known composite material and it serves a wide range of applications in the aerospace industry as well as many others. It’s incredibly popular due to its physical properties and its appearance.
The strength of carbon fiber along with how little it weighs makes it the perfect solution. Fuel efficiency is an important factor with aircraft, so being able to use carbon fiber parts will help. Less fuel means reduced running costs.
This also makes it a more environmentally friendly option. Using less fuel results in lower emissions. This is incredibly important in the aerospace industry these days, so it’s worth working to improve fuel efficiency wherever possible.
Carbon fiber has noise-dampening properties. It absorbs vibrations, which helps to make aircraft more stable while also reducing the amount of noise they generate.
Another key benefit of carbon fiber is that it has excellent chemical and corrosion resistance. These help keep parts in good condition for longer, so they don’t need to be replaced as often.
At SMI, we use a range of processes to manufacture high-quality composite parts, including the following:
- Autoclave curing
- Out of autoclave curing
- Compression molding
- Cast molding
- Bladder molding
Unlike many other composite manufacturers, we produce all of our own tools in-house. This allows us greater quality control over our work. As a result, the components we produce have an incredibly high degree of accuracy.
High-Quality Composite Manufacturing
Composite materials are perfect for a wide range of applications in the aerospace industry. They have various benefits that make them superior to metals, alloys, and other materials.
SMI Composites is an industry leader in composite manufacturing. We can create high-quality custom parts with incredible accuracy. Send us a message to get your free quote today.