Pune: Kota Harinarayanana INAE Satish Dhawan Chair from CSIR-NAL, Bangalore, said that the development of aviation was possible because of the development of materials. He was speaking about ‘changing role of materials in aviation’ during the foundation day lecture at CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory (CSIR-NCL), Pune, which recently celebrated its 68th Foundation Day.
Harinarayanana said that aviation has been the prime engine for development of technology the world over, leading to wealth generation. Aviation also provides military power, ensuring not only national security but also dominance in international relations. “Aviation is a multi and interdisciplinary activity, involving mechanical, structural, aerodynamics, electronics, materials, chemicals, thermal and a host of other technologies,” said Harinarayanana.
Harinarayanana spoke about the history of aircraft materials, giving a brief idea how the materials were adopted initially. Later, they were replaced and materials in aircraft were strengthened. In the first flight of Wright brother’s, an aluminum engine block along with a spruce and steel wire structure and fabric skin were utilised.
“The process of transformation was started adopting many materials and technologies. It started from utilisation of plastics, cast iron construction, all metal airplane, stressed skin construction for aircraft, semi-monocoque construction, increased aluminium use, stainless steel construction, expansion of use of plastics such as Plexiglas, composites like fiberglass, super alloys, titanium, carbon fibre composites, boron fibre composites, use of ceramics, aluminium-lithium, etc,” said Harinaryanana.