Aluminium Alloys in Space Applications: A Short Report
Keywords:Space materials, Aluminum alloys, Alloy series, Alloy characteristics
Because of the unique combination of light weight, high strength, and ease of fabrication, aluminum alloys have the mainstay of the aerospace industry. This report provides a brief overview of the types and series of aluminum alloys “AA” used for space industries and aerospace applications such as spacecraft surface structures and both of aircraft construction and satellite subsystems. The alloy compositions, manufacturing processes, and treatment classify the alloy properties and characteristics. According to these characteristics alloy compositions, the report outlines how to identify the suitable and optimum one to meet specific application needs and mission requirements. Also, the report clarifies how these alloys can be improved by a suitable tailoring of the composition through the addition of some of the alloying elements, which considerably are useful to refine the microstructure, thus improving the mechanical properties. Different types of aluminum alloys such as the series AA 2XXX, AA 5XXX, AA 6XXX, and AA7XXX are outlined. The discussion is performed to give view point on the alloy series with the emphasis on the improved of the alloy type AA6061, as example, with the heat treatment T6 “AA6061-T6” that is significantly more suitable alloy for spacecraft and satellite’ surface structures.