Abstract

There is a continued need within the aerospace and space communities to increase the structural efficiency of launch vehicles in order to increase the payload and/or lower fuel usage. Many of these structures have critical stiffness demands because of deflection, buckling, or acoustic/vibration damping. Aluminum-beryllium (Al-Be) is a candidate material for many such structural components because it has a very high stiffness to weight ratio (second only to pure beryllium) and has superior formability and weldability as compared to beryllium. The strength to weight ratio of commercial Al-Be is superior to aluminum alloys (7050 and 6061-T6) that are currently used for aerospace and space applications. Plasma spray forming of Al-Be alloys is being investigated at Los Alamos National Laboratory for producing axial symmetric components for aerospace and space applications. Plasma spray forming of beryllium and beryllium alloys was investigated during the 1960's and 70's by Union Carbide Speedway Laboratories and the Atomic Weapons Establishment for producing axial symmetric launch vehicle components for defense related applications. Information is presented on the thermal and mechanical properties of plasma sprayed AlBeMet which is a commercial Al-Be alloy produced by Brush Wellman Inc.

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