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Light Metals- The Future of Aerospace Technology
Transcript of Light Metals- The Future of Aerospace Technology
By Finau Kaituu
Professor Wu is developing new innovative ways to enhance various metals properties.
Professor Xinhua Wu
The Research Director at Monash University's ARC Centre of Excellence for Design in Light Metals
By modifying various metals at their fine-scale structure,
enables metal's characteristics to be enhanced or similarly by creating metal alloys (Collis, 2012).
These metals must be enhanced, to make aerospace technology more economical and environmental (Collis, 2012).
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These new metals are used to construct aerospace technology, in particular spacecrafts and aircraft's (Collis, 2012).
What is it?
Metallic bonding is an attraction between the positively charged atomic nuclei of a metal and the delocalised electrons, in the sea of electrons (BBC, 2013).
Link in Metallic Bonding and Application
In this application various metals are combined to enhance the properties of the metals, thus forming metal alloys.
The main alloy used is a combination between scandium and aluminum (Collis, 2012). When these two metals combine they form a solid lattice structure, as represented below.
Why these Metal Alloys are Suitable for this Application
Less prone to corrosion
Light Metal Alloy used for Aerospace Technology
Aluminum and Scandium
Being less prone to corrosion is beneficial to the application in the long run. A lack of corrosion ultimately means the metal alloy will remain stronger structurally for longer, whilst also retaining it's shape (HSC, 2005).
Less Prone to Corrosion
Aluminum is part of
the Group 13 of elements on the periodic table
It is very light and not very prone to corrosion
Scandium is a very rare earth metal.
Almost as light as aluminum.
Very high boiling point.
Scandium and aluminum combine, through, metallic bonding. The electrons from their outermost shell form what is known as a 'sea of electrons' (above) (BBC, 2013).
Both metal's have cation's (positive ions), which are then attracted to the negatively charged electrons in the sea of electrons . Hence this is how scandium and aluminum bond.
Adding scandium to aluminum, reduces the grain size of the metals. This is advantageous as the smaller the grain size, the more dense the metal, hence the stronger it will be structurally(scandium.org, 2013).
I handed you my bibliography on a hard copy.
Ultimately the link between the application and metallic bonding is the strength of the metal alloys when they are combined (Collis, 2012) .
This is also why this metal alloy is so good for the aerospace technology.
Main Link in Application and Metallic Bonding
(Metallica Minerals, 2014)