The Common Materials Used for Aircraft Exhaust Nozzle Construction
For the standard operations of modern aircraft, gas turbine engines are one of the most common types of powerplants. Situated under the aircraft wings or tail structures, gas turbine engines serve to compress and ignite fuel-and-air mixtures to create the energy needed to achieve forward propulsion. As the creation of exhaust with the combustor results in hot streams of gas, it is crucial that all structures are specifically built to withstand such extreme conditions.
Despite there being numerous gas turbine engine types found across varying aircraft, all share common components such as the fan, compressor, turbine, combustor, and exhaust nozzle. Together, these parts facilitate the standard intake, compression, ignition, and exhaust process. The exhaust nozzle, however, is often overlooked for its role despite its importance. As a tube-shaped component located at the end of the turbine engine, the nozzle serves to impart exhaust gas at an increased velocity for the means of producing thrust. Additionally, they also reduce engine noise resulting from the exhaust process. Due to their role in standard engine functionality, the exhaust nozzle must be built with materials that are durable and corrosion resistant.
Inconel is a commonly used material for exhaust nozzles, coming in the form of a nickel-chromium alloy. As compared to other various materials, inconel is highly resistant to temperature extremes that are either hot or cold. Due to their oxidation and corrosion resistance, they also find common use for spacecraft and sea vessels.
Stainless steel alloys are also common, and such materials are those that have a makeup of at least 10% chromium. There are various types of stainless steel alloys that one may procure, each of which differ in their basic functions. Generally, stainless steel alloys are classified based on their composition as different materials may vary in the amount of nickel and chromium that they contain. Across all types, the main classifications include austenitic, ferritic, and martensitic. Austenitic stainless steel alloys, as an example, are composed of carbon, chromium, and nickel. With their makeup, they are very resistant to extreme temperatures, thus they are commonly used in aircraft construction. Such alloys are also beneficial for the fact of having more nickel and chromium, meaning that their corrosion resistance is higher than other types.
Titanium is another common material that is rapidly rising in popularity for aircraft construction, currently being implemented in numerous modern aircraft manufactured by Airbus and Boeing. Titanium is known for its high tensile strength to density ratio, and such materials are both corrosion-resistant and well suited for extreme temperatures. Due to their various operational qualities, many modern aircraft and sea vessels are highly reliant on titanium. As a result, there is a regulation placed on their purchase in the United States due to high demand.
Whether your particular engine exhaust nozzle is constructed with titanium, inconel, or an alloy, all require regular inspection and maintenance to ensure proper functionality and airworthiness. When a particular part is reaching the end of its service life or is irreparably damaged, it can be useful to have spare parts ready for replacement. For the most dependable parts and a streamlined purchasing process, look no further than ASAP Distribution.