2290. New and Emerging Aluminum Products for Cost-Effective Airframe and Space Structure


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J T Staley: 2290. New and Emerging Aluminum Products for Cost-Effective Airframe and Space Structure. 1995.



There are many drivers and parameters involved in the development and selection of materials for aircraft. They include, but are not limited to: low structural weight, safety factors, cost, availability, manufacturability, reliability, and maintainability. The drivers for materials selection and alloy development for aircraft have changed considerably during this century. Some of the same drivers and parameters exist for materials for space, but the relative importance is usually different. For example, long-term maintainability is a primary concern in designing airframes, but is hardly a concern for consumable rocket cryotankage or for structures which will spend their life in space. In addition, the value of a unit of weight saved by using a new material may be tens or even hundreds of times higher for space applications. This paper first describes the high strength aluminum alloy materials available to the designer and gives examples of their applications. The materials are presented in the approximate order of their development. Each section is introduced by a brief discussion which includes the drivers which lead to their development. The paper also gives a glimpse at materials which are still in the embryonic stage and discusses the factors driving their development.


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