by Gennady MOROZOV, Cand. Sc. (Tech.), Deputy General Director, State Research Center "All-Russia Institute of Aircraft Materials" (VIAM), Director of Test Center
As different from many other areas of modern engineering, materials used in aircraft and rocket production must meet really the highest standard for strength and dependability - and that for some very obvious reasons. In view of the vital importance of this work, our Institute has been charged with the task of constantly keeping an eye of the development of such "airborne" materials (metals, alloys, composites, etc.) and issuing appropriate recommendations to the manufacturers. And it would be no exaggeration to say that we feel quite equal to this task, having at our disposal some really unique technical and functional testing potential.
But to begin from the beginning - the establishment of a system of quality control and management of aircraft materials- from their development to mass production-began practically right after the end of the Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany. During the war, control of the "viability", or service life, of combat aircraft was slackened as something of secondary importance. In those years their lifespan was often counted in weeks, and even in days. And it was only in 1952 that it was decided to introduce a federal system of obligatory certification of all "airborne" materials. Any and all arbitrary changes in their composition were off limits and there was a system of stringent regimentation of technological and manufacturing procedures. This "menu of regimented parameters" continued to grow, and if in the beginning aircraft designers attached importance mostly to statistical strength factors, later on they also had to take into account what specialists call low-cycle fatigue and fracturing resistance as factors making it possible to assess the service life and the carrying capacity of an aircraft structure. And for materials operating at high temperatures the list ... Читать далее