Titanium is a light alloy able to withstand virtually any external damage from heat, chemical, environmental, industrial or corrosive contaminants. The material is perfect for many fabricated sub-assemblies that require low weight, high strength and long service life. This is particularly true of aviation components, and the material has been critical to the success of many of today's high-performance airplanes.
Internal titanium sub-components in aircraft engines have been successfully applied since the early 1980s. Typical rotating or static engine parts, including impellers, compression disks, turbine stators, bearings and thrust outlet sheaths have been applied. The alloy is usually used where high strength, low weight and significant durability is particularly critical.
Titanium is typically used to fabricate internal sub-assemblies that are able to accommodate very high flight loads. This is particularly true of internal wing structures, such as main spars, or wing boxes associated with variable airfoil designs. In this case, typical loads associated with static wing configurations are magnified considerably, since a movable wing has to deal with a host of dynamic load changes, depending on speed and/or operating regime.
Fasteners and Doors
Many of today's high-speed aircraft designs utilize what are referred to as "stressed surfaces." In this case, the surface of the aircraft handles more than 50 percent of its overall structural strength. The advantage in this case is weight reduction, since the configuration reduces the number of sub-members necessary to create a particular shape. However, there are a number of doors in a typical aircraft that allow for avionic or weapons access, and these weaker surface areas need to be locked and covered by doors that are as strong as the original structure. In this case, titanium is regularly fabricated to fasten these doors, and in some cases, the alloy is also used to construct the doors themselves.