A comparison of corrosion-resistant steel (18 percent chromium - 8 percent nickel) and aluminum alloy (24st)

Sullivan, J E (Bureau of Aeronautics, Navy Department)
March 1936

In the selection of materials for aircraft application, it is not enough to make the selection on a strength-weight basis alone. A strength-weight comparison is significant but other factors must be considered, for while a material with a high ratio of strength to weight may be perfectly satisfactory for one use, it may be totally unfitted for another. It is essential, among other things, that the probable nature, magnitude, and direction of the principal stresses be given special consideration. The following analysis has therefore been made with this in mind. An attempt has been made to cover insofar as possible the major, but not all the points, that a designer would consider in the use of "18-8", as it is commonly referred to, and 24ST aluminum alloy, as applied to aircraft. 24ST was selected for this comparison as it has practically replaced 17ST for aircraft construction and it appears to have the best combination of properties of the alloys now available for this purpose. The cost of fabrication has not been considered.

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