Aerospace and aviation

Aerospace and aviation

Aluminum is considered the metal that allows people to fly. It is light, strong and flexible, making it an ideal material for making heavier-than-air aircraft. There's a reason why aluminium is known as the "winged metal" in some circles. Between 75 and 80 percent of a modern aircraft is made of aluminum, and in fact, aluminum was first used in aviation before the invention of the airplane. This is how Count Ferdinand Zeppelin made the frame of his famous airship out of aluminum. The breakthrough that laid the foundation for modern aviation occurred in 1903, when the Wright brothers flew their Flyer-1. The first maneuverable aircraft that weighed more than air. The car engines of the time were too heavy to provide enough power for the plane to take off. Therefore, a special engine was built for the Flier-1 aircraft, which contained parts such as a cylinder block made of aluminum .


The first airplane that gradually replaced wood, aluminum, steel and other materials, and the famous German aircraft designer Hugo Schwartz's Forty in 1917. The world's first all-metal fuselage has been built from hard aluminium, aluminium alloy, copper (4.5%), and also magnesium (4.5%). (1.5%) and manganese (0.5%). This unique alloy was developed in 1909 by Alfred Wilm, who also found that it could "wear ", which means that it becomes significantly stronger after a long heat treatment.

Since then, aluminium has become a key manufacturing material for the aerospace industry. The composition of aluminium alloys used in aircraft has changed and aircraft have improved, but the main goal of aircraft designers remains the same: to build a plane that is as light as possible, with the maximum possible capacity, using as little fuel as possible and with a body that does not rust. a plane that is as light as possible, has the maximum possible capacity, uses as little fuel as possible and does not rust on the body. It is aluminium that allows aeronautical engineers to hit all these targets. Aluminum is used almost everywhere in modern aircraft: in the fuselage, in the trim, in the wing panes and rudders, in the restraint systems, in the exhaust ducts, in the feed blocks, Refueling hoses, in the doors and floor, in the frames of the pilot and passenger seats, in the fuel nozzles, in the hydraulic system, in the inner columns of the cabin, in the Ball bearings are used in cockpit instruments, engine turbines and many other places. The aluminium alloys mainly used for aerospace applications are the 2хххх3ххххх5ххх6хххх7хххх series. 2xxx series is recommended for 7xxx alloys are used for highly loaded components in low temperature environments and for applications where high voltages are required. 3xxx, 5xxx and 6xxx alloys are used for low-load components, as well as for hydraulic, oil and gas applications. Lubrication and fuel systems. The most widely used alloy is 7075, which consists of aluminum, zinc, magnesium and copper. It is the strongest of all aluminum alloys and rivals steel in this respect, but it is only one-third the weight of steel.


The most widely used alloy is 7075, which consists of aluminum, zinc, magnesium and copper. It is the strongest of all aluminum alloys and rivals steel in this respect, but it is only one-third the weight of steel.
Airplanes are assembled from thin sheets and sections held together with rivets. The number of rivets in an airplane can run into the millions. Some models use pressed panels instead of sheeting, and it can only reach the boundaries of such a panel if there is a crack. For example, the wings of the world's largest cargo plane, the An-124-100 Ruslan, consist of eight 9-meter-wide aluminum panels. It can carry up to 120 tons of cargo. The wings are designed to continue to function even with damaged panels. Today, aircraft designers are looking for a new material that has all the advantages of aluminum but is lighter. Their only candidate is carbon fiber. It consists of threads between 5 and 15 microns in diameter and is composed mainly of carbon atoms. The first aircraft with a fuselage made entirely of composite materials was the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which had its first flight in 2011. commercial flights. However, composite aircraft are much more expensive to produce than aluminum aircraft. In addition, carbon composites generally do not provide the required level of safety.

Aluminum has not only proven indispensable in the aerospace industry, but also for its combination of low weight and maximum strength The main body of the first artificial satellite, launched in the Soviet Union in 1957, was made of aluminum alloy.All modern spacecraft contain 50 to 90 percent aluminum alloys in their components. Aluminum alloys are used in the fuselage of the space shuttle, they are found in the telescopic antennas of the Hubble Space Telescope; the hydrogen tanks used in rockets are Made of aluminum alloy, the tip of the rocket is made of aluminum alloy, the components of the launch vehicle and orbital station, and the fastening of the solar panels Cell - All of these elements are made of aluminum alloy.

Even the solid-fuel rocket boosters are made of aluminum. These boosters, used in the first phase of space flight, consist of aluminum powder, oxidizers (such as ammonium perchlorate), and binders. For example, the world's most powerful launch vehicle, the Saturn-5 (which can carry 140 tons of cargo into orbit), during its journey into orbit 36 tons of aluminum powder were burned.


The main advantage of the aluminium alloys used in spacecraft is their ability to withstand high and low temperatures, vibration loads and radiation. In addition, they have low-temperature strengthening properties, meaning that their strength and flexibility only increase as the temperature decreases. The most commonly used alloys in aerospace include combinations of aluminium and titanium, aluminium and nickel, and aluminium, chromium and iron.