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28Apr 2017

Although the use of steel dates back to thousands of years, it was not until the mid-19th century that the Bessemer Process was formed, allowing for its cheap mass production. Steel is now used in many vehicles, buildings, and tools. In fact, is it the most widely used and recycled metal material. Its ability to flex and mold into various types helps it meet a broad range of use. With over 1.3 billion tons of steel produced every year, what are the top 3 industrial applications?

Packaging

Though you may not need steel packaging when moving, the storage method has been in use for over 200 years. Packaging made from steel protects its contents from natural exposure, keeping out air, water, and light from ruining the product. Steel only weighs about .283 pounds for every cubic inch, making it a relatively lightweight option compared to other metals. One possible danger for anything made out of steel is corrosion. Manufacturers apply a coat of polymer to help protect against exposure that may cause the degradation to occur. Most steel packaging is used today to protect food, water, and everyday plastic appliances.

Transportation

As mentioned before, steel is a relatively flexible metal. This means certain niches have been carved out for specific tasks. Engineering Steel is a type of steel that fills one such niche, being of an individual strength, elasticity, and ductility to help build vehicles. Over 50% of the weight of a typical car is due to steel; the material typically needs less energy for production and does not emit as much CO2 into the atmosphere as other metals. Depending on the car part (doors, gearbox, body, suspension, etc.) different type of steel may be used. This does not only apply to consumer vehicles; trucks, trains, ships, and many other forms of transportation also rely on steel.

Construction

The construction industry uses the majority of steel produced in the world. Structures with steel frameworks can be quickly formed at low prices, and are able to mold into unique shapes and sizes for more creative projects. Like with packaging, steel used in construction is often alloyed or surface treated to account for more humid environments. It is thanks to steel that railways grew around the world and skyscrapers rapidly increased in number during the 20th century. The Empire State Building is one such project that benefited from steel.

Steel can be found in many forms, but some types may be more rare than others. Need a particular kind of steel or other metal for your project? Contact us at Avion Alloys for availability and a free quote!

05Apr 2017

Aluminum is considered to be the top metal of choice for manufacturing industry professionals. This is due in part to its corrosion resistance, high strength, and low-density properties. Aluminum is also non-toxic which makes it ideal for any application which involves the packaging of food items. While there are many uses for aluminum, here are the top 3 uses.

Consumer Products

Due to its non-toxic property, aluminum is great for packaged food. High amounts of aluminum are used for packaging food, medication, and beverages. It does not affect the taste of the food; it holds, repels water and extends the shelf life of food items. In addition, aluminum is also used to make trays, foils, cookware, utensils, refrigerators and toasters.

Aluminum is also used in many of our electronic devices. These include smartphones, laptops, and televisions. Our ability to make our mobile devices lighter, sleeker, and more durable is because of aluminum as it is tougher than plastic and lighter than steel. Aluminum is also a great conductor of heat which helps in keeping electronic devices from overheating.

Transportation

For decades, the transportation industries have been adding increased amounts of aluminum to every mode of transportation. This is because of its strength and lightness. Because of aluminum, trains can increase their fuel efficiency and reduce their carbon emissions. The aviation industry uses aluminum to build aircraft parts and navigation instruments. It is also used by NASA on their spacecrafts for it lightweight and strength under pressure. The automobile industry has also been impacted by aluminum. Lighter frames mean better fuel efficiency.

Electrical

Aluminum’s low density makes it one of the best options for long distance power lines. Because it is lighter and more ductile than copper; it can be formed into wires much easier. Its corrosion- resistant property protects the wire from the elements. As a result, aluminum has been replacing copper wiring in transformers and almost all updated wiring systems. It’s also being used in fuse boxes, satellite dishes, sound systems and household appliances.

As technology continues to advance, we will continue to see the diversification of aluminum. At Avion Alloys we understand the importance of aluminum to the manufacturing industry in the US and around the world. This is why we have warehouses set up all over the country to meet the demand by supplying aluminum and other metals of high quality. Contact us today to get a free quote.

24Mar 2017
NASA Satellite

From the launch of the first satellite over 50 years ago, aluminum has been the first choice in materials by the experts in the space programs. Materials used by NASA must be able to function under extreme stress, pressure, and low temperatures. As aluminum is already the metal of choice for building airplane parts, it also becoming the metal of choice for the experts at NASA.

There a quite a few obstacles to overcome when designing a spacecraft. Materials must be lightweight, reusable, and able to operate in a space environment. According to a report produced by NASA Engineers, these requirements are what led them to choose aluminum as one of the main components of their spacecrafts. The materials must be able to overcome launch, landing, and low-earth orbit. Here are a few ways in which NASA uses aluminum:

Thermal Protection

NASA uses a few layers of gold, titanium, nickel and aluminum to for a thermal blanket of protection around their satellites, space telescopes, and rockets, for protection from the vacuum of space. These blankets help to reflect the external heat of the sun as well as trap internal heat on the side facing away from the sun.

Radiation Protection

The sun transfers heat through radiation to both the equipment and astronauts. In order to control the surface temperatures of any object exposed to the dangerous radiation of the sun, the equipment is wrapped with metal reflectors. The reflectors are made from silver, copper, gold and aluminum. These reflectors help to maintain a cool consistent temperature.

Spacecraft Components

Because of its strength, durability and weight efficiency, NASA uses aluminum to produce various mechanical parts. These include:

  • Control Arms
  • Aluminum Wheels
  • Steering Knuckles
  • Brake Calipers
  • Automotive Cross Members

Through the use of aluminum, NASA was able to update and improve the technology of their spacecrafts. As a result of these improvements, the spacecrafts of today and tomorrow will be both energy efficient and cost effective. In addition to being NASA-approved, we at Avion Alloys serve a variety of industries around the world. If you would like to receive a quote, connect with us online or call us at (800) 408-2329

16Mar 2017
Aluminum

Thermoform tooling is the process of creating the necessary tools for the thermoforming process. The variety of materials that could be used to make the molds used to form the plastic can be anything from wood or steel, but aluminum is the better option for several reasons. Aluminum is one of the most adaptable and cost-effective materials to use in thermoform tooling. It provides quality and durability like none other which allows the manufacturer to reuse the same mold to make a great number of tools.
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21Feb 2017
steel rolls

One might be surprised to hear that steel prices are predicted to climb drastically after declining for the previous 15 months leading into 2017, but that is exactly what can be expected. Steel prices are currently the highest they’ve been since the summer of 2011 and this is of no coincidence. There are many factors that contribute to this upward trend. Continue reading

05Feb 2017
a piece of nickel on the periodic table

Last week, Indonesia implemented rules that will now free up the exportation of nickel ore and concentrates of other minerals under particular conditions. This is a dramatic shift in policy by Southeast Asia’s biggest economy and one of the largest global suppliers of nickel. This drastic policy shift may have come as a surprise to some, but a closer look at the Indonesian economy would hint that change was on the horizon. Continue reading