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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