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The Advantages Of Using Stainless Steel For Musk's Super Heavy Rocket

May 24 2023

According to the Los Angeles Times, at 9 a.m. local time on July 20, the founder of Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos and his brother Mark Bezos and other four pilots boarded the "New Shepard" aircraft. , Took off from the launch site in western Texas, USA, flew to the earth suborbit about 105 kilometers above the ground and successfully returned and landed smoothly.

As early as Monday, local time, Musk’s company had already taken the lead in completing the recent space experiment-the first "static ignition" test of the world's largest rocket booster.

SpaceX super-heavy rockets are not only special in appearance, but also have different materials from conventional rockets. Conventional rockets are currently generally made of aluminum alloy (aluminum-magnesium and aluminum-lithium alloy) and carbon fiber composites, and Musk uses a 300 series stainless steel.

What are the advantages of the 300 series stainless steel alloy?

Musk said that the biggest advantage of choosing 300 series stainless steel alloy is that it is tough, cheap enough, fast production speed, recyclable, and it is currently the lightest applicable material.

Advantage 1:

At not particularly low temperatures, the performance and strength of high-quality stainless steel are increased by 50%. Most steels become brittle at low temperatures, such as typical carbon steel, when you spray liquid nitrogen upwards and hit with a hammer, it will shatter like glass. This is true for most steels, but not for stainless steels with high chromium and nickel content. Chromium nickel will increase the strength of stainless steel and improve its ductility. Therefore, even at minus 330 degrees Fahrenheit, this stainless steel will have a ductility of 12% to 18%, is very tough, very strong, and has no chipping problems.

Advantage 2:

In terms of price, the cost of comparative carbon fiber is 135 US dollars per kilogram, and there is a scrap rate of about 35%. And 301 stainless steel is 3 dollars per kilogram, and the price is much lower than that of carbon fiber for ordinary rockets.

Advantage 3:

Coupled with the recyclability of stainless steel, the cost of producing rockets is greatly reduced, which is environmentally friendly and energy-saving.

With the development of the world's aerospace industry and stainless steel technology, the application of stainless steel in the aerospace industry has become more and more extensive. For corrosion-resistant applications, austenitic stainless steel grade 1.4301 (AISI 304) and its derivatives are suitable for Mild environments (such as cabin components, internal fuel tanks, etc.) that do not exceed 200ppm, grade 1.4401 and its derivatives, are more suitable for environments where chlorides are present in the atmosphere.

High temperature resistance, oxidation resistance, grade 1.4301 (AISI 304), 1.4401 (AISI 316) and their respective derivatives show mild oxidation resistance, suitable for high temperatures up to 870 degrees Celsius.

For applications where oxidation resistance is the main characteristic requirement, 1.4818 (ASTM S30415), 1.4835 (ASTM S30815), 1.4833 (AISI 309) and 1.4845 (AISI 310) can be used. These grades can withstand temperatures up to 1150 degrees Celsius.

As a leading professional stainless steel manufacturer and supplier in China, Ronsco has been committed to providing professional stainless steel solutions to global customers. The various types of stainless steel products provided are widely used in the water industry, construction industry, home appliance industry, environmental protection industry, and industry. Facilities, automobile industry, marine engineering, aviation and navigation and other industries can adapt to the requirements of various use environments.





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