Common Aviation Metals | A Guide to Common Metals Used in Aircraft

Most parts of aircraft are made from aerospace-grade metals that are strong, durable, and anti-corrosive and are used for all major components where ASM (“aerospace specification metals”) are required. To manufacture aircraft, engineers use specific metals for different parts of an aircraft. This article will highlight the most common types of metals used in the aviation industry.

What are the most common metals used in the aviation industry?

Below are the four most common metals used in aerospace.


Aluminum makes up the majority of the components of commercial aircraft. Some of the key properties of aluminum that make it a common metal for aircraft are that it is non-corrosive, light weight, non-magnetic and non-sparking, and easily machined and cast. Aircrafts need to be light enough to lift off the ground, and aircraft with aluminum components will be lightweight and fuel-efficient.

Stainless Steel

Although less utilized in aircraft manufacturing than aluminum because it is heavier, steel tubes are used for structural elements of the aircraft body. Steel is durable, temperature and corrosion resistant, long lasting, and easily formed and fabricated, making it a popular choice. Actuators, landing, gears, and other rotables are often made of stainless steel.


Titanium has superior strength-to-weight ratios, making it an ideal choice for engineers wanting to make aircraft that are lighter, stronger, and more fuel-efficient. Titanium has outstanding corrosion resistance, high heat resistance, and very good oxidation capabilities. Titanium may be used throughout the aircraft, including in the body, frames, engine parts, springs, and fastening elements.


Although aerospace engineers use tungsten alloys rather than pure tungsten, this metal has the highest melting point and lowest vapor pressure of all metals. Tungsten alloys are used to balance aircraft and minimize vibrations, making for smoother, safer, and more pleasant flying for passengers and crew.

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