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Daytona Beach


Aeronautical Science

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Metals, beginning in the 1930s, have been frequently used as the material of choice for aircraft construction (Hallion, 1978; Jakab, 1999). Common metals used in the aviation industry range from alloyed and heat-treated aluminum to titanium, magnesium, and superalloys, the latter used in specialized applications (Hallion, 1978; Mouritz, 2012). Nevertheless, a shift in aircraft construction – specifically in terms of the materials used – began in the 1970s, as composite materials were introduced into commercial aircraft (Mouritz, 2012). Among others, the increased use of composited materials was – and still is – propelled by the ability to manufacture comparative lightweight and aerodynamically shaped components and structures that allow for reduced fuel costs while simultaneously retaining excellent strength and performance characteristics (Gopal, 2016; Hadcock, 1998; Haresceugh et al., 1994; Kassapoglou, 2013). However, safety is a crucial factor in aviation, and as such, critically impacts material choices. Therefore, when selecting materials to use for aircraft construction, both, design parameters – such as weight and strength – as well as safety elements – including failure modes and characteristics – are to be considered (Mouritz, 2012). When applied to the shift to composite materials evidenced in the aviation industry, it is crucial to also understand how the comparatively new materials will behave in the event of a failure or when damaged, such as in an aircraft accident

Publication Title

International Society of Air Safety Investigators Annual Seminar


International Society of Air Safety Investigators