So, what makes a material innovative? In the aerospace, industry innovation is predicated upon a material’s ability to address three key concerns: weight, strength, and noise reduction. Lighter materials translate into improved aerodynamics and flight. Furthermore, the lighter the plane is, the less fuel is exhausted.
Unfortunately, lighter materials are often weak and less durable, something aerospace manufactures can’t afford to have. Stronger materials enable planes to last longer and endure the mechanical stress associated with flight. There is also noise cancellation; researchers are working effortlessly to find materials which minimize the boisterous sounds produced when flying, which ultimately improves the passenger experience.
Interestingly enough, some of the old metals are still being used–but in a new way–specifically through alloy and composite materials. Composites are made from multiple constituent materials that have different physical and chemical properties. Similarly, alloys are combinations of metals and other elements. These new materials have enabled aerospace companies to meet the needs of aircraft and push the industry forward.
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