What Makes Custom Aluminum Extrusions Space Grade?

Posted By: | Date: 04-08-2021

Custom aluminum extrusions are being used for a wide variety of applications, and the aerospace industry is one of the major end-users. In aerospace, aluminum alloys are integral components in every aspect of production.

Aluminum extrusion suppliers manufacture aluminum alloys to allow for increased speed, strength, and safety of all types of aircraft. Because aluminum is durable and lightweight, it also protects the aircraft from the stresses of flight. And practically everything is made of aluminum.

The fact is, modern aerospace parts are made chiefly from aluminum alloys – and that includes everything from engine parts to nuts and bolts. From cost to durability to longevity, nothing comes close to the overall benefits of aluminum.

Aerospace and Spacecraft Industries

custom aluminum extrusionsCustom aluminum extrusions are integral to the aerospace and spacecraft industries. The materials can withstand the unique hazards of a space environment and have become the "go-to” material for both space vehicles and space structures.

Not surprisingly, modern spacecraft are manufactured with 50% to 90% of aluminum alloy. The material is remarkably lightweight, extremely high-strength, and with mechanical stability that far exceeds many other materials that might be considered as an option.

Some Challenges Faced in Space

The extreme environment of outer space presents unique challenges for engineers and aluminum extrusion suppliers who have to build structures for those harsh conditions. And here, aluminum’s stability fits the bill when the material is subjected to radiation within a vacuum space.

With radiation and cosmic rays, for example, aluminum absorbs a high amount of radiation, thus reducing human exposure to non-threatening levels. Aluminum also does well with the extreme fluctuations of heat and cold in the space environment.

The constant flux of temperatures in space causes spacecraft materials to constantly expand and contract. As such, aluminum’s dimensional stability and durability allow it to reliably maintain its shape and size even with the changing temperatures.

Spacecraft are typically peppered with floating objects in space. Whatever that object might be, aluminum is strong enough, rigid enough, and durable enough to maintain its structural integrity and therefore survive these many space hazards.

During launch and re-entry, spacecraft materials are put under great stress – some that exceed several times the force of gravity. Here again, aluminum does the job, in particular, maintaining integrity and resisting any bending or breaking.

Offshore Direct Metals Specializes in Aluminum Extrusion Products

As one of the leading aluminum extrusion suppliers in the country, Offshore Direct Metals is recognized for quality products, competitive prices, and speedy deliveries. We provide our clients with finished aluminum products that consistently outperform other suppliers.

With OD Metals, customers are offered “floor-to-door” logistics – a very cost-effective shipping model that significantly diminishes overhead costs and benefits the bottom line. Some customers take advantage of our unique stock-and-release program (with warehousing).

Offshore Direct Metals is one of the primary aluminum extrusion suppliers, always focused on providing unique product specifications in addition to customer satisfaction.

Find out more by contacting one of our in-house specialists to assess your needs and options.

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