Aircraft Aluminum: What’s the Difference Between 7178-T6 and 7079-T6?

Airplanes on runway

When researching the different types of aircraft aluminum, you may come across 7178-T6 and 7079-T6. Aluminum is often used in the construction of airplanes. Roughly 80% of a typical Boeing 737, in fact, consists of aluminum.

Airplanes don’t use ordinary aluminum, however. Most of them use a special type of aircraft aluminum, with 7178-T6 and 7079-T6 being the most common types.

What Is 7178-T6?

7179-T6 is an aluminum alloy that’s commonly used in the construction of airframes. It consists of aluminum, zinc, magnesium and copper. Aluminum is the primary material in 7179-T6. As an aluminum alloy, though, it contains other materials, specifically zinc, magnesium and copper.

What Is 7079-T6?

Another common type of aircraft aluminum is 7079-T6. It was developed in the mid-1950s. It’s an aluminum, alloy that, like 7178-T6, is used in the construction of airframes. 7079-T6 consists of aluminum, zinc, magnesium and copper

Differences Between 7178-T6 and 7079-T6?

While they are both aluminum alloys used in the construction of airframes, 7178-T6 and 7079-T6 aren’t the same. 7079-T6 offers several advantages over its counterpart. For starters, it boasts a higher tensile strength. 7079-T6 features a different composition than 7178-T6, which among other things, allows for a higher tensile strength.

7079-T6 also offers better transverse ductility. It can withstand more stress without succumbing to deformation. These properties make 7079-T6 a popular choice for airframes. Airframes constructed out of 7079-T6 are strong and resistant to stress.

7079-T6 has a higher strength-to-weight ratio than 7178-T6. In addition to airframes, it’s commonly used in the construction of wing wings and other critically important structural components.

Other Types of Aircraft Aluminum

There are other types of aircraft aluminum available. Some airplanes use 7075-T6, whereas others use X7080-T7. Each type of aircraft aluminum features a different composition. Therefore, their properties vary. But two of the most common types of aircraft aluminum are 7178-T6 and 7079-T6. From small airplanes to large commercial jets, many airplanes use these aluminum alloys in their aiframe.

Aircraft Aluminum Cladding

Regardless of the specific type or aircraft aluminum used in the construction of an airframe, it may feature cladding as well. Cladding is a layer or coating that’s applied over the surface of an object. It’s designed to further protect the underlying metal from corrosion while also reducing maintenance requirements.

Aerospace manufacturers must choose the right type of material when constructing airplanes. For aluminum alloy airframes, many of them choose 7178-T6 and 7079-T6. They are strong, durable materials that consist of aluminum, magnesium, copper and zinc.

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