It might not be an important question to ask if you are buying a full packaged ready to fly drone you might be just curious to know, but it would be an important question to ask if you are thinking of building your own drone from scratch, knowing what material to use for building your drone or what material the drone is made of that you should buy is an important question to ask and in this article you are going to find out the answer
But first we have to explain the impact of the material that the drone is made of on the whole system of the drone.
The Impact Of The Material On The Drone System
Drones by design are smaller than the regular manned aircraft and thus they have less fuel capacity compared to regular vehicles. With the reduced fuel capacity drones tend to have a significantly less flight time compared to regular manned aircraft, the issue becomes even greater when we consider the weight of the drone and whether it’s carrying a set of Hellfire missiles or a small camera for civilian use.
In order to encounter this
One of the ways to reduce the weight of the drone is to look for lighter materials that make up the body or the frame of the drone and thus conventional aerospace material such as Aluminum G061-T6 might not be the best design option in the construction of drones.
So composite materials become a perfect alternative for conventional aerospace material due to its great properties such as the lightweight and the high strength so they don’t break up easily in case of crashes.
There are other materials than composite materials that drones can be made of, of course, but composite materials are considered to be the highest and best quality option due to its excellent characteristics.
What Materials Are Drones Made Of
The most common materials that drones are made of are:
- Carbon Fiber
- Epoxy-Laminate G10
Wood: is the most inexpensive option you can find in the market, if you want to save costs of construction of the drone or if you’re on a budget then wood would be the perfect choice for you.
its main drawback is that it can break easily and it can’t withstand crashes compared to other materials, but replacing the broken parts would be also cheap so this shouldn’t be a great issue.
Carbon fiber: carbon fiber is the best option and the most sought after choice for drone construction due to its excellent characteristics and high quality, carbon fiber is extremely lightweight so this solves the weight and flight time issue, and carbon fiber has high strength so it can withstand crashes and it doesn’t easily break.
the main drawbacks of carbon fiber are that it’s expensive which raises the overall cost of your project and that it impedes RF signal so you have to be careful when placing your electronics.
Plastic: plastic is easily accessible material whether it’s plastic sheets or 3D printed plastic it’s not as expensive as carbon fiber but you would find it more expensive than wood, it’s best used for the support parts such as landing gears and propeller guards, 3D printed plastic is only accurate for small drones and the accuracy will start dropping when the scale of the drone increases.
Aluminum: not all the types of aluminum have the same properties, we have mentioned a specific type of aluminum which is not suitable for drones which is G061-T6 but other types would be fine.
The upside of aluminum is that it’s easily accessible to everybody and that it is not expensive so the cost of the project won’t be high, and in case of crashes it can easily be bent back into shape.
The main drawbacks are that it’s still heavy and choosing it for the body would consume more power compared to other material and that it blocks RF signal so you should be more careful placing your antenna.
G10: g10 is a high-pressure fiberglass laminate that has properties similar to carbon fiber which is high strength and low weight which makes it another great option for building your own drone because of these great characteristics which offer the durability and high flight time. Also, g10 is a less expensive option than carbon fiber and it doesn’t block RF signal as carbon fiber does.