Aluminum alloys with lithium added are collectively referred to as aluminum-lithium alloys. For every 1% of lithium added to the aluminum alloy, the density can be reduced by 3%, and the elastic modulus can be increased by 6%.
The abnormal weight reduction advantage makes aluminum lithium alloy famous in the material industry. Especially for the aerospace field, which takes weight reduction as a persistent challenge, weight reduction means fuel saving, so aluminum-lithium alloy immediately became the standard for many advanced aerospace equipment, including the domestic large aircraft C919.
The chemical properties of lithium are active, the storage and use of extremely difficult, as of now, the world can produce aluminum lithium alloy in no more than 5 countries. Chinese engineers have found a new way to prepare it!
The high pressure inert gas atomizes the alloy flow into small droplets in the air, and the droplets gradually cool and solidify during the flight. Some droplets are unable to fully solidify and maintain part of the liquid. They all sit on the rotating chassis, deposit, bond and solidify, and eventually form continuous dense aluminum alloy ingot.
This process of making metal ingot by spraying alloy solution is called jet forming. The production of aluminum lithium alloy by jet forming process is unique in the world.
Jet forming can make the solidification unit fine from centimeter level to micron level, which ensures the uniform composition and stable performance of large size aluminum lithium alloy ingot.
The latest aluminum-lithium alloy made by Chinese engineers will be used in China's self-developed large aircraft, carrier rockets, large manned spacecraft and other national heavy objects.