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4 TOP Performing Metals in the Montreal Aerospace Industry

Updated on October 18, 2011

Montreal’s aerospace industry

Montreal’s aerospace industry is one of the world’s largest, and it has been an important driving force of the Canadian economy for many years. Montreal plays host to four major aerospace manufactures including Quebec’s own Bombardier and hundreds of small and mid-size companies all involved either directly or indirectly in the industry. The success of the aerospace industry depends on the quality of high temperature metals provided by metal fabrication companies. Below are 4 important metals vital to the aerospace industry.

Aerospace equipment
Aerospace equipment


Aluminum is widely used both in aerospace equipment and airline structures for its unmatched strength to weight ratio and its corrosion resistance. Pure aluminum is too soft for industrial purposes. When combined with metal alloys, aluminum gains strength while preserving its prized lightweight qualities. Various metallurgic processes such as aluminum solution heat treating are used to accomplish this feat. Heat treating also alters the physical aspect of metals and changes their chemical properties.


Nickel is a highly versatile metal that combines with many other metals including steel. Nickel alloys are particularly resistant to high temperatures and are used in the lining of exhaust systems, ducts, flame tubes and afterburners.Nickel is also used in the electroplating, a process where one metal is coated with another using the conductive properties of the ‘coating’ metal. Like heat treating, electroplating changes the physical and chemical properties of the metal. Nickel electroplating improves the corrosion resistance of the metal.

Nickel alloys
Nickel alloys


Due to its great strength, titanium is a popular metal in the construction of modern aircraft. Like aluminum, it is lighter than steel and is corrosion resistant. Its ability to withstand tremendous stresses and high heat, make it an ideal metal for keeping the wings firmly attached to the aircrafts’ fuselage. Titanium is commonly used in the military to protect their aircraft from the intense heat generated at supersonic speeds.

Military aircraft
Military aircraft


Steel usage in aircraft is limited due to the metal’s weight and its tendency towards corrosion. Stainless steel is usually used as it is more resistant to corrosion. Steel can be commonly found in jet engine exhausts and landing gears. Because of its ability to withstand high heat, steel is used in heat shields that protect engine mounts from fuel exhaust.

The four metals and alloys listed above or only the most common. There are also many more minor metals like tungsten, platinum and cobalt that play a significant role in the manufacture of today’s aircraft. As the aerospace industry in Montreal evolves in response to changing global economic conditions and future changes in technology, we will no doubt witness new metals and allows introduced into the mix.

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