Rev.Adv.Mater.Sci. (RAMS)
No 4, Vol. 44, 2016, pages 383-397


Richard Rajan, Paul Kah, Belinga Mvola and Jukka Martikainen


The growing concerns on issue of energy saving and environmental conservations has considerably increased the demand for lightweight structures in automobile, aerospace and marine industries. Aircraft manufacturers adhere to the life cycle approach for selection of materials as cost reduction has become the main criteria in many airlines. Aluminium alloys have been the primary material choice in the structural parts of aerospace and marine sectors for more than 80 years. Although modern composites, due to their excellent fatigue strength, corrosion resistance, reduced weight and high specific properties, appears to be a tempting replacement for aluminium alloys; its higher initial cost and expensive maintenance limits its widespread usage in airframe construction. Among the high performance materials, Aluminium is a low cost and easily produced metal that can relatively be subjected to high levels of stresses. Nowadays highly customized aluminium alloys are developed to meet the requirements of aerospace industries, which can effectively compete with composite materials. Increasing application of aluminium in various industrial sectors is the main driving force for technologists to develop a viable and efficient technology for joining aluminium alloys. These developments avoid adverse effects of welding on the mechanical, chemical and metallurgical properties of aluminium alloys desired for longer life. The main objective of this article is to explore the development and usage of aluminium alloys in aerospace industries. The improvements in the mechanical properties of the Al-Cu (2xxx series), Al-Zn (7xxx series), and Al-Li alloys have been discussed and compared. Additionally, a critical review of the advancements in joining methods of aluminium alloys has been performed.

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