AerMet® 100, produced by Carpenter Technology Corporation, is a precipitation hardening alloy based on an iron-cobalt nickel mixture strengthened with carbon, chromium and molybdenum. The alloy is equal in strength to 300M high strength steel but with better fracture toughness and stress corrosion cracking resistance. This makes it ideal for use in aircraft components where weight-savings and reliability in severe environments are critical, such as the landing gear for carrier-based military aircraft.
The heat treating process for AerMet® 100 involves a solution treating operation in a vacuum gas quench furnace followed by cold stabilization and ageing. Ageing time and temperature must be tightly controlled to achieve the required mechanical properties and test coupons are processed with every load. A hot straightening operation is also often required. For more than 10 years, VAC AERO has been qualified for heat treating AerMet® 100 components for the carrier-based version of the F/A-18. Recently, the company was qualified for processing AerMet® 100 rotor components for a major military helicopter program. VAC AERO has also been involved in trials for incorporating the alloy into landing gear components for commercial aircraft.