Aluminum Forging for Aerospace Applications

Aluminum has been a reliable material for the aviation industry for generations. Over time, we’ve seen aluminum move from aviation to aerospace. We’ve seen aluminum as a primary component of…

  • The Apollo spacecraft
  • Sputnik1 in 1957
  • The Skylab space station
  • Space shuttles, and
  • International Space Station.

Modern spacecraft are now composed of 50-90% of forged aluminum. Why is that? Aluminum presents unique traits that make it ideal for aerospace applications. 

 

All About That Weight: Lightweight Nature of Forged Aluminum

One of the most important traits of forged aluminum is the lightweight nature of the metal. Aluminum is, on average, ⅓ lighter than steel when forged. A lighter weight means increased fuel efficiency and an overall lighter design. It can also be substantially more fuel efficient, not requiring as much fuel to get into space. 

 

A Champion Weightlifter: The Strength of Aerospace Forgings & Aluminum

While aluminum is a lighter material, it still has the strength necessary to rival other metal options. Especially when using open-die forging, aluminum maintains a strength that helps machines survive the harsh environment of space. With open-die forging, you can produce a limitless variety of shapes that range in weight while maintaining the strength of the metal. This strength makes the aerospace components able to withstand significant pressure and become load-bearing items. 

 

Fight with Fire: Corrosion Resistance 

All too often when we see images of rockets or satellites entering space, we see fire or sparks around it. Forged aluminum can handle the heat, with properties that make it highly resistant to corrosion or extreme environments. By using forged aluminum, aerospace companies can be confident in a much lower risk of their creation degrading or wearing away too quickly. 

 

With all the benefits of forged aluminum, it is clear why aerospace companies are using it to create their rockets and satellites components. Steel Industries is a certified aerospace forging company ready to help you with all your aluminum forging needs. View our aerospace capabilities now.

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