Lightweighting and the Future of Aerospace Metals
The search for low density, high strength alloys supports the perennial drive for lightweighting in the transportation industries. Improved efficiency is achieved through reduced mass or higher engine operating temperatures, and so materials with high temperature strength or high specific strength are both considered here. The first 100 years of powered flight gave the world spectacular innovations and capabilities, and metals played an indispensable role in these advancements. Recently, some have come to consider structural metals as a mature technology with limited opportunities for future innovations. However, a convergence of new tools and capabilities now offers new opportunities for metallic innovations, including computational alloy development, additive manufacturing, and reduced variability and uncertainty. A vast range of new alloy systems has recently been proposed and new alloy development strategies are exploring this expansive new alloy space. Here we present the challenges and opportunities for future innovations in aerospace metals.
KeywordsStructural metals Aerospace Lightweighting High temperature
Support from the AF Research Laboratory, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate is greatly appreciated.
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