Have you ever wondered what those huge Navy ships are made from? Or what about the construction of a helicopter? Whether you’re a contractor looking to work with the military or simply curious about machines and vehicles, discover the metals most commonly used by the military.
Military Metals at a Glance
- Titanium alloys
- Stainless steel
- Aluminum alloys
- Nickel alloys
- Copper alloys
The military often looks for specific attributes in metals, including high corrosion resistance and an excellent strength-to-weight ratio. For this reason, the military makes many aircraft pieces, armor components, and missiles from titanium alloys, which have both desirable traits. Since the military may deploy vehicles and machines in a wide variety of climates, it’s crucial that they stand up to extreme weather and can carry lots of soldiers.
Stainless steel is another metal with many military applications. It is used in aircraft exhaust systems, shock absorbers, and missile fire control systems. Unfortunately, stainless steel isn’t as strong as other metals, so the military uses it less than in other industries, like aerospace.
One of the most important metals for the military is aluminum, which can blend with other metals to create super-powered alloys, like silicon aluminum bronze. Aluminum alloys are essential because they are highly resistant to corrosion and have low magnetic permeability. Because of these traits, military contractors use aluminum in thousands of different components to increase their durability, especially for Marine equipment.
Nickel alloys are most important in the Air Force, where engineers use them in designing rockets and aircraft. One of the advantages of a nickel alloy is its ability to withstand enormous pressure, even up to 125,000 psi. This makes it a perfect material for use in aircraft.
You might not think of copper as a particularly strong metal, but its flexibility makes it valuable. Military engineers use copper in armor because it helps increase impact resistance.
We hope this list of metals most commonly used by the military is interesting and helpful. Knowing the differences between these metals can help you if you’re looking to expand your business into military contract work.