The aerospace industry is one of the world’s most crucial sectors.
Every year, it generates billions of dollars in revenue and employs millions of people. Its products are used for military operations and civil aviation. It’s also the industry responsible for launching satellites into space.
Despite its massive impact on society, none of it would be possible without one humble process—welding.
The idea of fusing metals together was conceived thousands of years ago, long before humans ever dreamt of flight. Today, that same idea has enabled humans to reach new heights.
Let’s take a look at the relationship between welding and aerospace, including how modern technology has evolved to meet the rigorous demands of the aerospace industry.
Importance of Aerospace Welding
Aerospace welding, or structural welding, describes processes carried out in the building of vital aircraft and spacecraft components. This differs from traditional welding for a few reasons.
For starters, aerospace components are made of unique materials. These alloys are expected to be lighter, more malleable, and more durable. Some examples include titanium and aluminum.
These materials also have more thermal conductivity, and, hence, are more prone to cracking. This makes the actual welding process more complex.
As a result, the welds created are subjected to closer scrutiny. Aerospace components must adhere to high safety regulations with no room for error. Welds must thus be cleaner and more precise than in other industries.
Advanced Welding Techniques
Considering the number of challenges posed by this industry, welders have turned to new processes to ensure clean welds. These include:
Electron Beam Welding
Through this process, two materials are fused together by heat that is generated by a high-velocity electron beam. This beam targets small areas, making it useful for welding sensitive components. It can also cut through thick materials, enabling greater structural integrity. Meanwhile, a beam gun runs on low heat, making it safe to use with materials that have a high thermal conductivity.
During laser welding, alloys are melted and fused together by a high-energy laser that produces deep cuts with high precision. This technique is often used in the aerospace industry as it can be used on a variety of materials and complex designs accurately.
Tungsten Inert Gas Welding
One of the most popular techniques employed in manufacturing aerospace components, TIG welding uses a tungsten electrode and an inert gas to create strong welds. The presence of an inert shielding gas protects the weld pool from contamination, delivering clean cuts that aerospace components sorely require.
The Bottom Line: Soar to New Heights with nexAir
These advanced processes are far from being the only techniques employed in the manufacturing of aerospace components. Given how demanding the industry is, they will likely continue to play an important role in the aerospace market.
In the 80 years we’ve been in business, nexAir has witnessed the welding revolution first-hand. Today, we’re a leading welding supplier across the Southeast. We’ve made a name for ourselves by helping our clients in the aerospace industry Forge Forward and thrive with our KnowHow.
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