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aging optimization of aluminum-lithium alloy c458 for application to cryotank structuresCompared with aluminum alloys such as 2219, which is widely used in space vehicle for cryogenic tanks and unpressurized structures, aluminum-lithium alloys possess attractive combinations of lower density and higher modulus along with comparable mechanical properties. These characteristics have resulted in the successful use of the aluminum-lithium alloy 2195 (Al-1.0 Li-4.0 Cu-0.4 Mg-0.4 Ag-0.12 Zr) for the Space Shuttle External Tank, and the consideration of newer U.S. aluminum-lithium alloys such as L277 and C458 for future space vehicles. These newer alloys generally have lithium content less than 2 wt. % and their composition and processing have been carefully tailored to increase the toughness and reduce the mechanical property anisotropy of the earlier generation alloys such 2090 and 8090. Alloy processing, particularly the aging treatment, has a significant influence on the strength-toughness combinations and their dependence on service environments for aluminum-lithium alloys. Work at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center on alloy 2195 has shown that the cryogenic toughness can be improved by employing a two-step aging process. This is accomplished by aging at a lower temperature in the first step to suppress nucleation of the strengthening precipitate at sub-grain boundaries while promoting nucleation in the interior of the grains. Second step aging at the normal aging temperature results in precipitate growth to the optimum size. A design of experiments aging study was conducted for plate. To achieve the T8 temper, Alloy C458 (Al-1.8 Li-2.7 Cu-0.3 Mg- 0.08 Zr-0.3 Mn-0.6 Zn) is typically aged at 300 F for 24 hours. In this study, a two-step aging treatment was developed through a comprehensive 24 full factorial design of experiments study and the typical one-step aging used as a reference. Based on the higher lithium content of C458 compared with 2195, the first step aging temperature was varied between 175 F and 250 F. The second step aging temperatures was varied between 275 F and 325 F, which is in the range of the single-step aging temperature. The results of the design of experiments used for the T8 temper as well as a smaller set of experiments for the T6 temper will be presented. The process of selecting the optimum aging treatment, based on the measured mechanical properties at room and cryogenic temperature as well as the observed deformation mechanisms, will be presented in detail. The implications for the use of alloy C458 in cryotanks will be discussed.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Sova, B. J.
(Boeing Co. United States)
Sankaran, K. K.
(Boeing Co. United States)
Babel, H.
(Boeing Co. United States)
Farahmand, B.
(Boeing Co. United States)
Rioja, R.
(Aluminum Co. of America United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2003
Subject Category
Metals and Metallic Materials
Meeting Information
AeroMat 2003(Dayton, OH)
Distribution Limits