Many modernized instruments and systems are highly reliable in their performance, many can be sensitive and susceptible to magnetism. For example, magnetic compasses can have distorted readings when an object messes with their natural gravitational pull, leading to incorrect readings that can detract from a flight plan or operation. To avoid such issues with any instrument or system, aircraft are specifically designed with a number of non-magnetic fastener parts and materials.
While external objects and lightning strikes cause deviations in accurate readings of magnetic-based instruments, the most common cause for undesirable aircraft magnetism comes from improper hardware implementation. Improper hardware implementation often occurs during the maintenance stage when an aging or defective component is replaced with a related part number that is not fit for aviation use. For example, one may utilize the incorrect part number and install a replacement part that is of a different material, leading to the presence of a magnetic metal alloy in the aircraft. Nevertheless, lightning strikes still have a small chance of affecting magnetism, as strikes may alter the properties of the alloy they pass through, changing the overall metallurgy of the material.
To effectively avoid the chance of magnetism, it is also very important that all fasteners are made from strong and reliable metals that are non-magnetic in nature. While alloy and stainless steel are quite common for many applications, the aerospace industry regularly takes advantage of aluminum due to its highly optimal strength-to-weight ratio. Aluminum being used for the construction of lead screws is common, allowing for seat actuators, flight surfaces, door opening systems, and other various assemblies to be secured with ease. While the lightweight aspect of aluminum fasteners is useful, there is also the benefit of their low price point when compared to other similar fastener options.
If you are ever having issues with their compass or other sensitive instruments and suspect that there is a magnetic metal located somewhere on your aircraft, it is relatively simple to locate where the issue is. During a typical aircraft maintenance & overhaul procedure, take a standard hand-held compass and inspect the entirety of the aircraft body. As the needle will be drawn to anything magnetic, you should be able to find the problematic area once you are close to it. Then, you can find out if a non-magnetic fastener or piece has been incorrectly replaced before installing non-magnetic options. You can also verify areas of magnetism using a field indicator, and NDT equipment known as electromagnetic yokes may be the quickest way to treat a magnetized area for an easier solution.
If you are in the market for non-magnetic fastener parts, magnetic alloy detection equipment, or various parts and components for aircraft maintenance & overhaul, we have you covered here on Emergent Aviation. Emergent Aviation is a premier distribution platform for parts of all types as we serve markets related to aviation, marine, IT hardware, defense, and industrial applications. Take the time to explore our offerings as you see fit, and our RFQ service makes it quick and easy to receive quotes for your comparisons. As our team members are available for customers around the clock, you can always give us a call or email, and we would be more than happy to assist you through the purchasing process however we can. Get started today and see why customers choose to shop at Emergent Aviation for all their various operational needs.
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