In Russia have developed a new alloy for aviation and space

© RIA Novosti / Alexei Filippoupolitis in fotomonster of the carrier rocket proton-M with telecommunication spacecraft SC-5 with pad of the Baikonur cosmodromeIn Russia have developed a new alloy for aviation and space© RIA Novosti / Alexei Filippoupolitis the image Bank

Material engineers nust «MISIS» developed an innovative and economical method of production, ensuring production of the unique magnesium alloys for aerospace and engineering. A new type of flux (molten salt layer is a mandatory component of the production technology) allows to obtain a metal of high corrosion resistance and high mechanical properties. The use of structures and parts made of magnesium will help to significantly reduce the weight of the aircraft or vehicle.

Magnesium — a very light metal, its density is less than that of aluminum and titanium: 1.73 grams per cubic centimeter, compared with 4.5 and 2.7 grams per cubic centimeter, respectively. For aviation and space, where the struggle for each lifted kilogram (in space there is no air) is a life-and-death, this is a very significant difference. However, the low corrosion resistance of magnesium alloys of Russian production does not allow to use them in aircraft, rocket and automobile industry. This negatively affects the competitiveness of Russian equipment on the world market.

A characteristic feature of magnesium alloys is their high reactivity in the molten state, making it impossible for them to melt into the air without special protective measures to prevent contact of the melt surface with air.

This measure, developed at the dawn of the magnesium industry is the application of a surface film of molten low-melting salt flux, which spreads over the surface of the melt and protects it from oxidation and ignition. For smelting, refining, and support operations in the production of one ton of magnesium alloy is used on average 300 kilograms of flux.

Researchers from the University used as the basis of the flux of the Ural carnallite (mineral). They put in a 30% calcium chloride, thereby creating a flux with a high cleaning effect. Improved composition and method of manufacture provide good spreadability on the surface of the alloy, the longer the period since the application of flux before the first fires on the surface of the molten alloy and, most importantly, the complete lack of marriage at the salt inclusions. In the end, the technology offers increased corrosion resistance of metal magnesium casting, reducing losses of alloying components and, as a consequence, a stable chemical composition of the alloys.

«The application created in nust «MISIS» together with the industrial partner of LLC «stroybis OK» (the largest Russian manufacturer of subsidiary materials for nonferrous metallurgy) technology will help to avoid formation of toxic barium containing slag (waste from metal production), to improve the quality of magnesium alloy to enhance its competitiveness in domestic and foreign markets and — ultimately — to increase import substitution in the aerospace and automotive sectors of the Russian industry», — said the project Manager, lead engineer, center of engineering and industrial technologies, nust «MISIS» Anton Nalivaiko.
© Nust «MISIS»Anton NalivaikoIn Russia have developed a new alloy for aviation and space© nust «MISIS»Anton Nalivaiko

This technology on an industrial scale will reduce the cost of magnesium casting is 20-30% and simultaneously improve its corrosion resistance. Thus will be eliminated the two main reasons for the limited use of these alloys in the Russian aerospace industry.

At the moment the development team is busy creating an experimental platform for obtaining a trial batch high performance fluxes for the purpose of consolidated laboratory tests.