Aerospace Manufacturing: Technology, Materials, Inspection, Quality Control and More | CNCLATHING


Aerospace is a major support for manufacturing industry. From development to finished parts, aerospace manufacturing plays the most significant role. What aerospace manufacturing technologies are used? How to find the proper material for aerospace parts? In this article, we’ll present the common aerospace manufacturing methods, materials, inspection and quality control. 

Aerospace Manufacturing Technology

Once the part design is approved, the production can get started. The manufacturing process should be selected based on the production volume and required lead time. 

Additive manufacturing

Additive manufacturing (AM) refers to a process of creating a physical component from virtual three-dimensional computer models through adding materials, usually in layers. Common additive manufacturing technologies are including 3D printing , sheet lamination, material extrusion, and more. Aerospace is one of the pioneering sectors for additive manufacturing, the sector is characterized by small batch sizes and manufacturer-specific adaptations. Additive manufacturing can be used to make unique geometries and lattice structures, which reduce weight and help dissipate heat. It’s also a excellent technique to create semi-hollow parts with advanced materials, reduce weight while maintaining strength, in line with the development trend of aerospace products. Additive manufacturing is designed for aerospace parts in low-volume, high-value production needs.


CNC Machining 

The precision of airplanes is of utmost importance, from the body to small parts, CNC machining services can produce specific aerospace parts and tools precisely. For example, CNC machines can even create barely visible piece in the engine internal, or modify the wing of a plane with extreme precision to ensure the wing can work efficiently. CNCLATHING.COM is an acknowledged CNC manufacturing company in aerospace product engineering and machining services. We provide one-stop service from quotation, manufacturing, testing, finishing, etc., to meet your unique and challenging needs. Trained technicians will monitor each CNC aerospace machining process to make sure the quality and accuracy. CNC machining is a great choice when the finished parts requires extra finishing services, or for accurate dimension and good surface finish needs.

Material for Aerospace Parts

Based on the unique feature and requirements of aircraft construction, complex parts in lightweight material is the preferred choice, so it determines which kind of materials are suitable for the industry. With the development of modern technology, more and more alternative materials appeared to create lighter, more aerodynamic planes that can withstand more extreme environmental conditions, such as new composites and alloys. Some popular aerospace materials are listed here.

Stainless steel: stainless steel 17-4 PH is widely used in the aerospace CNC machining or 3D printing because of its high strength, good corrosion resistance, and good mechanical properties at temperatures up to 600°F. 

Aluminum: aluminum is an ideal option for aviation housing and brackets that support high loading due to it has high strength-to-weight ratio, in addition, it’s easy to machine and cost-effective. For nearly a century, the aerospace industry relied on aluminum to make parts. The most common aluminum alloy used in aerospace is 7075 aluminum, which is as strong as steel, has good fatigue strength and average machinability.

Titanium: titanium is the combination of light weight, high strength, excellent corrosion and temperature resistance. Commercial airplanes today use a great deal more titanium than previously engineered aircraft. Titanium parts and components are usually used to make fastening elements, airframe and landing gear of airplanes like aircraft jet engines and spacecraft, as well as engines parts include discs, blades, shafts and casings. Titanium 6AL-4V alloy accounts for almost 50% of all alloys used in aircraft. Taking advantage of the high weight-to-strength ratio, aerospace parts made from titanium consumes less fuel. 

Inconel: is a nickel chromium superalloy usually used in 3D printing for rocket engine components and other aerospace applications that require high-temperature resistance.

Composite materials: including carbon fiber, glass and aramid-reinforced epoxy, composite materials are lightweight, which can be used to create fuel efficient aircraft. They can also withstand high resistance and fatigue, suitable for making wings. 

Aerospace Inspection and Quality Control

Inspection is necessary after manufacturing process, especially for aerospace parts, when it comes to the quality control of aerospace industry, each tiny piece should be compliance with specific quality standard and certification. The most important certification for aerospace are AS9100D. AS9100D is a standard for quality in the aerospace industry adopted from ISO 9000/ISO 9001 standards.


How to control the quality throughout the production? Multiple quality control methods can be applied, such as in-situ monitoring for real-time feedback and adjustment during the part building, when the work is completed, the component can be subjected to either destructive or nondestructive testing with coordinate measuring machines, and use touch probes or lasers, X-ray or other scanning technologies to check the dimensional accuracy. In addition, full traceability of each batch of material and batch of parts can find the source and using trajectory of all items, then the problems can be found more easily.