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Space manufacturing aluminum rolling

Space manufacturing aluminum rolling

One of the leading non-ferrous materials, aluminum is second only to iron in demand among metallic materials. A high-strength and rust-resistant material that is easy to process and that offers high thermal conductivity, aluminum has a broad range of uses in various aspects of people's daily lives. In recent years, aluminum has garnered particular attention for its light weight and its ease of recycling. For example, increasing the ratio of aluminum used in automobile manufacturing would lighten vehicle chassis and improve fuel efficiency. Aluminum previously used can also be repeatedly recycled, another reason aluminum is called a resource that will underpin the recycling-oriented society of the future. Sumitomo Corporation's aluminum-related business got its start in the s.

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Most Common Uses of Aluminum

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Powder metallurgy is a forming and fabrication technique consisting of three major processing stages. First, the primary material is physically powdered - divided into many small individual particles. Next, the powder is injected into a mold or passed through a die to produce a weakly cohesive structure very near the true dimensions of the object ultimately to be manufactured.

Finally, the end part is formed by applying pressure, high temperature, long setting times during which self-welding occurs , or any combination thereof.

Powder metallurgy technologies may be utilized by minimum initial support facilities to prepare a widening inventory of additional manufacturing techniques, and offer the possibility of creating "seed factories" able to grow into more complex production facilities which can generate many special products in space. The following sections review the basics of powder metallurgy Jones, The history of powder metallurgy and the art of metals and ceramics sintering are intimately related.

Sintering involves the production of a hard solid metal or ceramic piece from a starting powder. There is evidence that iron powders were fused into hard objects as early as B. Jones, In these early manufacturing operations, iron was extracted by hand from metal sponge following reduction and was then reintroduced as a powder for final melting or sintering. A much wider range of products can be obtained using powder processes than from direct alloying of fused materials.

In melting operations the "phase rule" applies to all pure and combined elements and strictly dictates the distribution of liquid and solid phases which can exist for specific compositions. In addition, whole body melting of starting materials is required for alloying, thus imposing unwelcome chemical, thermal, and containment constraints on manufacturing.

Other substances that are especially reactive with atmospheric oxygen, such as tin Makhlouf et at, , are sinterable in special atmospheres or with temporary coatings. Such materials may be manipulated far more extensively in controlled environments in space.

In powder metallurgy or ceramics it is possible to fabricate components which otherwise would decompose or disintegrate. All considerations of solid-liquid phase changes can be ignored, so powder processes are more flexible than casting, extrusion forming, or forging techniques.

Controllable characteristics of products prepared using various powder technologies include mechanical, magnetic Kahn, , and other unconventional properties of such materials as porous solids, aggregates, and intermetallic compounds. Competitive characteristics of manufacturing processing e. Cold or contact welding was first recognized as a general materials phenomenon in the s.

It was then discovered that two clean, flat surfaces of similar metal would strongly adhere if brought into contact under vacuum. It is now known that the force of adhesion following first contact can be augmented by pressing the metals tightly together, increasing the duration of contact, raising the temperature of the workpieces, or any combination of the above.

Research has shown that even for very smooth metals, only the high points of each surface, called "asperites," touch the opposing piece. Perhaps as little as a few thousandths of a percent of the total surface is involved. However, these small areas of taction develop powerful molecular connections - electron microscope investigations of contact points reveal that an actual welding of the two surfaces takes place after which it is impossible to discern the former asperitic interface.

If the original surfaces are sufficiently smooth the metallic forces between them eventually draw the two pieces completely together and eliminate even the macroscopic interface. Exposure to oxygen or certain other reactive compounds produces surface layers which reduce or completely eliminate the cold welding effect. This is especially true if, say, a metal oxide has mechanical properties similar to those of the parent element or softer , in which case surface deformations do not crack the oxide film.

Fortunately, the extremely low concentrations of contaminating gases in free space less than 10 torr is achievable should produce minimal coating, so cold welding effects can persist on fresh metal surfaces for very long periods.

Contact welding promises a convenient and powerful capability for producing complex objects from metallic powders in space with a minimum of support equipment. This powder, reassembled as a cube, would be about twice as big as before since half the volume consists of voids. If a strong final product is desired, it is important to obtain minimum porosity that is, high starting density in the initial powder-formed mass.

Minimum porosity results in less dimensional change upon compression of the workpiece as well as lower pressures, decreased temperatures, and less time to prepare a given part. A decrease in average grain size does not decrease porosity, although large increases in net grain area will enhance the contact welding effect and markedly improve the "green strength" of relatively uncompressed powder.

In space applications cold welding in the forming stage may be adequate to produce usable hard parts, and molds may not even be required to hold the components for subsequent operations such as sintering. The use of irregularly shaped particles produces even more porous powders.

Porosity further may be reduced by using a selected range of grain sizes, typically carefully chosen gauges in most terrestrial applications. But powder mixtures do not naturally pack to the closest configuration even if free movement is induced by vibration or shaking.

Gravitational differential settling of the mixture tends to segregate grains in the compress, and some degree of cold welding occurs immediately upon formation of the powder compress which generates internal frictions that strongly impede further compaction.

Considerable theoretical and practical analyses already exist to assist in understanding the packing of powders Dexter and Tanner. Powder metallurgy in zero-g airless space or on the Moon offers several potential advantages over similar applications on Earth.

For example, cold-welding effects will be far more pronounced and dependable due to the absence of undesirable surface coatings. Gravitational settling in polydiameter powder mixtures can largely be avoided, permitting the use of broader ranges of grain sizes in the initial compact and correspondingly lower porosities. The film is then removed by low heat or by chemical means, forming the powder in zero-g conditions without a mold. Moderate forces applied to a powder mass immediately cause grain rearrangements and superior packing.

However, at still higher pressures or if heat is applied the distinct physical effects of particle deformation and mass flow become significant. Considerably greater force is required mechanically to close all remaining voids by plastic flow of the compressed metal. Sintering is the increased adhesion between particles as they are heated. In most cases the density of a collection of grains increases as material flows into voids causing a decrease in overall size.

Mass movements which occur during sintering consist of the reduction of total porosity by repacking, followed by material transport due to evaporation and condensation with diffusion. In the final stages metal atoms move along crystal boundaries to the walls of internal pores, redistributing mass from the internal bulk of the object and smoothening pore walls. Most, if not all, metals may be sintered.

This is especially true of pure metals produced in space which suffer no surface contamination. Many nonmetallic substances also sinter, such as glass, alumina, silica, magnesia, lime, beryllia, ferric oxide, and various organic polymers.

The sintering properties of lunar materials have been examined in detail Simonds, A great range of material properties can be obtained by sintering with subsequent reworking. Physical characteristics of various products can be altered by changing density, alloying.

Particular advantages of this powder technology include: 1 the possibility of very high purity for the starting materials and their great uniformity; 2 preservation of purity due to the restricted nature of subsequent fabrication steps; 3 stabilization of the details of repetitive operations by control of grain size in the input stages: 4 absence of stringering of segregated particles and inclusions as often occurs in melt processes: and 5 no deformation is required to produce directional elongation of grains Clark, Finally, when working with pure elements, scrap remaining at the end of parts manufacturing may be recycled through the powdering process for reuse.

Any fusible material can be atomized. Several techniques have been developed which permit large production rates of powdered particles, often with considerable control over the size ranges of the final grain population. Powders may be prepared by comminution, grinding, chemical reactions, or electrolytic deposition. Several of the melting and mechanical procedures are clearly adaptable to operations in space or on the Moon.

Powders of the elements Ti, V, Th, Cb, Ta, Ca, and U have been produced by high-temperature reduction of the corresponding nitrides and carbides.

Fe, Ni, U, and Be submicron powders are obtained by reducing metallic oxalates and formates. Exceedingly fine particles also have been prepared by directing a stream of molten metal through a high-temperature plasma jet or flame, simultaneously atomizing and comminuting the material.

On Earth various chemical- and flame-associated powdering processes are adopted in part to prevent serious degradation of particle surfaces by atmospheric Oxygen. Powders prepared in the vacuum of space will largely avoid this problem, and the availability of zero-g may suggest alternative techniques for the production of spherical or unusually shaped grains.

Two powdering techniques which appear especially applicable to space manufacturing are atomization and centrifugal disintegration. Direct Solar energy can be used to melt the working materials, so the most energy-intensive portion of the operation requires a minimum of capital equipment mass per unit of output rate since low-mass solar collectors can be employed either on the Moon or in space.

Kaufman has presented estimates of the total energy input of the complete powdering process in the production of iron parts. Major savings might be possible in space using solar energy. Atomization is accomplished by forcing a molten metal stream through an orifice at moderate pressures. A gas is introduced into the metal stream just before it leaves the nozzle, serving to create turbulence as the entrained gas expands due to heating and exits into a large collection volume exterior to the orifice.

The collection volume is filled with gas to promote further turbulence of the molten metal jet. On Earth, air and powder streams are segregated using gravity or cyclone devices. Cyclone separators could be used in space, although an additional step would be required - introduction of the powder into a pumping chamber so that the working gas may be removed and reused.

Evacuated metal would then be transferred to the zero-pressure portion of the manufacturing facility. Figures 4.

Simple atomization techniques are available in which liquid metal is forced through an orifice at a sufficiently high velocity to ensure turbulent flow. At low R the liquid jet oscillates, but at higher velocities the stream becomes turbulent and breaks into droplets. Other techniques such as nozzle vibration, nozzle asymmetry, multiple impinging streams, or molten-metal injection into ambient gas are all available to increase atomization efficiency, produce finer grains, and to narrow the particle size distribution.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to eject metals through orifices smaller than a few millimeters in diameter, which in practice limits the minimum size of powder grains to approximately 10 um. Atomization also produces a wide spectrum of particle sizes, necessitating downstream classification by screening and remelting a significant fraction of the grain. Centrifugal disintegration of molten particles offers one way around these problems, as shown in figure 4.

Extensive experience is available with iron, steel, and aluminum Champagne and Angers, Metal to be powdered is formed into a rod which is introduced into a chamber through a rapidly rotating spindle. Opposite the spindle tip is an electrode from which an arc is established which heats the metal rod. As the tip material fuses, the rapid rod rotation throws off tiny melt droplets which solidify before hitting the chamber walls.

A circulating gas sweeps particles from the chamber. Similar techniques could be employed in space or on the Moon. The chamber wall could be rotated to force new powders into remote collection vessels DeCarmo, , and the electrode could be replaced by a solar mirror focused at the end of the rod.

An alternative approach capable of producing a very narrow distribution of grain sizes but with low throughput consists of a rapidly spinning bowl heated to well above the melting point of the material to be powdered. Liquid metal, introduced onto the surface of the basin near the center at flow rates adjusted to permit a thin metal film to skim evenly up the walls and over the edge, breaks into droplets, each approximately the thickness of the film Jones, In subsequent operations the powder is dried.

In space applications it would be necessary to recycle the water or other atomizing fluid. Finally, mills are now available which can impart enormous rotational torques on powders, on the order of 2. Such forces cause grains to disintegrate into yet finer particles.

The pioneering engineering material in the history of industrial revolution is aluminium. Aluminium is light, durable and functional metal in nature which makes it a key engineering metal for industrial application. The aluminium made a revolution in the field of automobiles, trains and aeroplanes, mobile phones and computers, modern interior and much more.

Powder metallurgy is a forming and fabrication technique consisting of three major processing stages. First, the primary material is physically powdered - divided into many small individual particles. Next, the powder is injected into a mold or passed through a die to produce a weakly cohesive structure very near the true dimensions of the object ultimately to be manufactured. Finally, the end part is formed by applying pressure, high temperature, long setting times during which self-welding occurs , or any combination thereof.

Aluminum Manufacturers

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Supporting industry and people’s livelihoods through global investment in the aluminum business

The Micromill will enable the next generation of automotive aluminum products, and equip Alcoa to capture growing demand. The Alcoa-patented Micromill process dramatically changes the microstructure of the metal, allowing the production of an aluminum alloy for automotive applications that has 40 percent greater formability and 30 percent greater strength than the incumbent aluminum used today while meeting stringent automotive surface quality requirements. Additionally, automotive parts made with Micromill material will be twice as formable and at least 30 percent lighter than parts made from high strength steel. The Micromill alloy has formability characteristics comparable to mild steels.

As the demands on the quantity and quality of aluminum foil have increased, so have the demands on the equipment to produce the foil. To meet these expectations, Primetals Technologies mills include state-of-the-art features for high-speed operation while process support ensures record start-up time and the ability to achieve that the very first coil rolled following a changed mill set-up be saleable.

Most Common Uses of Aluminum. No other metal can compare to Aluminum when it comes to its variety of uses. Some uses of aluminum may not be immediately obvious; for example, did you know aluminum is used in the manufacturing of glass? Aluminum is used in transportation because of its unbeatable strength to weight ratio. Its lighter weight means that less force is required to move the vehicle, leading to greater fuel efficiency. Although aluminum is not the strongest metal, alloying it with other metals helps to increase its strength. Its corrosion resistance is an added bonus, eliminating the need for heavy and expensive anti-corrosion coatings. While the auto industry still relies heavily on steel, the drive to increase fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions has led to a much wider use of aluminum. High-speed rail systems like the Shinkansen in Japan and the Maglev in Shanghai also use aluminum. The metal allows designers to reduce the weight of the trains, cutting down on friction resistance.

Advanced Automation for Space Missions/Appendix 4C

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Aluminum is one of the most widely used metals in the world. On the periodic table, it has the symbol Al and the atomic number

Aluminium was one of the newest metals to be discovered by humans. Aluminium does not occur naturally in its purest form so it was not discovered until the 19th century with developments in chemistry and the advent of electricity. Aluminium has gone on an incredibly interesting journey from a precious metal to the material used virtually in every sphere of human life in just one and a half centuries. Discovery of aluminium. Humankind came across aluminium long before the metal we know today was produced. The Natural History by Pliny the Elder, a Roman scientist, told the story of a first century craftsman presenting a cup made of an unknown metal looking like silver, but too light to be sliver, to Tiberius, the Roman Emperor. Alum, an aluminium-based salt, was used extensively in ancient times. Commander Archelaus discovered that wood was practically flame resistant if it was treated using an alum solution; protecting his wooden fortifications against flamed attack. Alum was used throughout Europe from the XVI century onwards: in the leather industry as a tanning agent, in the paper-pulp industry for paper sizing and in medicine, i.

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Manufacturing of the International Space Station

DataPLUS, a new module providing data subsets covering joints information, lubricants and coolants, material dimensions, tribology, and coatings information helps drive even more accurate material selections! Click here to see more. Total Materia Tips and Tricks 14 th January Total Materia has allowed us to solve in a definite way all problems we had for the search of alternate materials in foreign countries. Thanks to Total Materia we have issued real "international" specs for purchase of steels in foreign countries. Our mission is simple; to make Total Materia the one-stop place and first choice of engineers world wide.

Rolled Aluminum Shapes Suppliers

Hundreds of contractors [1] working for the five space agencies were assigned the task of fabricating the modules, trusses, experiments and other hardware elements for the station. The fact that the project involved the co-operation of fifteen countries working together created engineering challenges that had to be overcome: most notably the differences in language, culture and politics, but also engineering processes, management, measuring standards and communication; to ensure that all elements connect together and function according to plan. The ISS agreement program also called for the station components to be made highly durable and versatile — as it is intended to be used by astronauts indefinitely. A series of new engineering and manufacturing processes and equipment were developed, and shipments of steel, aluminum and other materials were needed for the construction of the space station components. The project began as Space Station Freedom , a US only effort, but was long delayed by funding and technical problems. Following the initial 's authorization with an intended ten year construction period by Ronald Reagan, the Station Freedom concept was designed and renamed in the s to reduce costs and expand international involvement.

Flat Rolling

Provide Feedback. Manufacturer of standard and custom rolled aluminum shapes with hems or fold overs on unequal or equal legs. Types include special, structural, V and L shapes. Available in 3 in.

Aluminum alloys production process

The equipment for production of ingots from aluminum alloys contains the up-to-date casting tools- the SNIF system of secondary processing. The facility includes two-stand hot-rolling mill with electric heating furnaces, cold rolling mills, auxiliary equipment, heat-treatment facilities and finishing lines.

Space manufacturing is the production of manufactured goods in an environment outside a planetary atmosphere. Typically this includes conditions of microgravity and hard vacuum.

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