Chemistry

Jet Enginesmetallurgytitaniumnickelaluminiumvanadiumalloysstressesstrainsforcesilmenite



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The production of aircraft engines requires very special materials to meet stringent quality standards and specifications. Operating at high altitudes and high speeds, and subject to many vicissitudes of nature such as cyclones, snow etc these engines have to be designed with zero tolerance against failure and against the most adverse combination of dynamic forces, stresses and strains. The components of jet engines need to be built out of materials which can withstand high temperatures and having a high degree of resistance against corrosion; they should also be light weight and possess high tensile strength.

Titanium satisfies all of these requirements. Hence it has been widely used in components of jet engines. More than 60 percent of all the titanium metal produced in the whole world is used in aircraft engines and frames alone.

Titanium is an extremely hard metal. It has a high Brinell hardness number (indicates the resistance of a metal against indentation and is representative of its hardness). As a result it is highly suitable to withstand the extremely high temperatures developed in the engines when they are used in aircrafts flying at high speeds and altitudes. To enhance its malleability (the easiness with which a material can be bent and/or shaped without losing strength) titanium is used in alloy form by combining it with other metals like nickel and aluminum. All the three of these metals are used substantially in the aviation industry due to their being light weight and strong at the same.

The following components of a jet engine, especially, are manufactured out of titanium and/or its alloys due to the highly desirable characteristics which nature has gifted to this metal.

The front intake fan

The combustion chamber

The inner duct of the exhaust system

The thrust reverser

For engine specific components such as rotors, compressor blades, hydraulic system components, titanium is widely used. Titanium alloys together with the base metal and other constituents such as aluminium, vanadium, and nickel are also used for a large number of components as well as important structural parts, fire walls, landing gear; exhaust ducts, and hydraulic systems.

Metallurgically,the compounds and ores of titanium occur in almost all igneous rocks and their sedimentary deposits.Across the globe, titanium is found to occur with commercial viability in ilmenite and rutile deposits in Western Australia, Canada, China, India, New Zealand, Norway, and Ukraine. Substantial quantities of rutile containing titanium are also found in North America and South Africa. Ilmenite and rutile deposits mostly occur in the form beach sands,along shorelines etc.

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