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Why is aluminium used in aeroplanes? The answer is aluminum in aircraft grade has high requirements on strength, hardness, toughness, fatigue resistance and plasticity. As a professional manufacturer of aircraft grade aluminum sheet, our products are advancing by leaps and bounds like the aerospace industry.
First of all, let's understand the two types of structural materials used in spacecraft: metal materials and composite materials. Metal materials have mature performance and processing and manufacturing foundations, and have always been the first choice for satellite structural materials; composite materials, as emerging materials, are favored by researchers for their outstanding advantages such as low density and strong designability, and are gradually replacing metals as the main structural material for satellites.
Aeroplane aluminium alloy is the main manufacturing material of spacecraft, and a large amount of aluminum alloy materials are required from the fuel tank, manned cabin (escape cabin), orbital cabin, etc. So, why is aluminium used in aeroplanes? Aluminum alloy large-scale extruded profiles, aluminum-lithium alloys, aluminum alloy thick plates, and aluminum alloy castings have become the first choice for aerospace aluminum alloys. High-alloyed aluminum materials have obvious characteristics such as many varieties and specifications, large component sizes, complex shapes, and large processes results.
The characteristic of metal materials is that they can be welded, and are mainly used in satellite sealed shell structures, and are also applicable to load-bearing structural parts such as joints and brackets. Among metal materials, alloy steel is the most widely used structural material in the industry. However, in the aerospace field, except for a small number of structures using alloy steel, lighter aluminum alloys, titanium alloys, and magnesium alloys are mainly used. In the case of comparable specific modulus, the density of lightweight alloys is much lower.
Among light alloys, aluminum alloy is relatively cheap, has good thermal and electrical conductivity, and has good corrosion resistance. It is currently the most widely used light metal material on satellites. Some aluminum alloys also have good low-temperature properties, and their strength and plasticity increase as the temperature drops. In the classic space shuttle era, the crew compartment, forward fuselage, center fuselage, rear fuselage, vertical fin, flaps, elevon and horizontal stabilizer were all made of aluminum alloy. In the United States, 7 series aluminum alloys such as 7075, 7475 and 7055 are mainly studied and applied. Aeroplane aluminum alloys with these components not only have high strength but also high toughness, and have always been the goal pursued by aerospace material researchers from all over the world. Limited by the development of material preparation technology, high-strength aluminum alloys are rarely used in my country, but to realize the lightweight design of spacecraft, this is always a direction worthy of research.