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Development of C919 Will Drive Composite Materials Industry in China

Development of C919 Will Drive Composite Materials Industry in China2019.05.22

According to Boeing’s Monthly Order Report, it didn’t have any new order in April after the accident of ET302 on March 10. And the report also showed the delivery volume in April was only 23, which was a 135% decrease from the previous month and a 91% decrease from the same period of last year.
 
At the same time, many media and airlines in the world pay their attention to the Chinese C919, a plane at the same level as the Boeing 737 series and the Airbus A320 series.
 
Though it is difficult to break in short time the situation that Boeing and Airbus controls the whole civil aviation market, it is still a good news for COMAC, the manufacturer of C919, to win more orders and attentions from foreign companies.



 
In the future, the development of C919 will definitely drive related industries of aviation in China, for example composite materials, aerospace alloys and organic polymer materials etc,.
 
According to Mr. Cao Chunxiao, materials scientist of China Academy of Sciences, the following five materials are of great importance in the field of aviation:
 
1.     Titanium Alloy


Titanium alloy is an important structural material for the aircraft. It has high temperature resistance, low density, high strength, and corrosion resistance, so it is mainly used for those important load-bearing components such as aero-engine blades and discs, engine pylons, aircraft landing gear, fuselage frame, wing beam, tail joint, etc.


The amount of this material used in C919 is about 8%, which is equivalent to the amount of it used in Boeing 777 and Airbus A380.
 
2.     Composite Materials


The use of composite materials in the aerospace industry has continued to increase since the 1970s. It not only has higher strength and specific stiffness, but also facilitates overall structure, therefore, it can significantly reduce the weight of the aircraft and correspondingly reduce the fuel consumption.


The amount of high-performance composite material accounted for 25% on the Airbus A380, and 12% on C919.
 
3.     Superalloy


Superalloy is exactly developed to meet the demanding requirements of modern aerospace engines.


In modern aero engines, superalloy account for 40% to 60% of the total engine. It is mainly used for combustion chambers, guide vanes, turbine blades and turbine discs in the engine. In addition, this material is also used for components such as casings, rings, afterburners and tail nozzles.
 
4.     Aluminum Alloy


The aluminum alloy has low density but high strength, close to or exceeding high-quality steel, and has good plasticity, so it can be processed into various profiles, and has excellent electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity and corrosion resistance.


All kinds of aircrafts use aluminum alloy as the main structural material. It can be used to make the surface, beams, ribs, stringers, bulkheads and landing gear on the aircraft.
 
5.     Steel


Steel is one of the most used materials in the world for its low price and reliable performance. The landing gears of the Boeing 737-300 and later series aircraft have basically selected the 300M steel.


Key components such as the landing gear and piston rod of the C919 are also made of 300M steel.
 


Science and technology of materials are closely related with the development of aerospace industry. Along with the increasing popularity of C919, China’s material market will also meet new opportunities.

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