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Development of aluminum alloys and high-tech weapons
Sep 08, 2018

Weapons are one of the fast-growing heavy industries and one of the more powerful sectors of innovation. New weapons emerge in an endless stream. Aluminum is the basic material of the weapon industry and plays an important role in high-tech weapons.

Aluminum makes high-energy electromagnetic guns powerful

As early as 2008, the US Navy experimented with a strong electromagnetic gun, which set a high firing rate. The electromagnetic gun fired an aluminum bullet at 10,680 kJ. The bullets and shells of ordinary guns are fired by gunpowder and the barrel and barrel are fired; while the electromagnetic gun is charged (about 4 minutes), the aluminum bullets are at 7 Mach (2500m/s) from the electromagnetic gun track. Fly to the target. Because the electromagnetic gun is powered by electromagnetic force, and the projectile cannot be made of magnetic metal, aluminum is a non-magnetic material, which is a good material for manufacturing electromagnetic bombs. At the same time, its density is much lighter than that of copper and lead. The aluminum bomb can fly faster and further.

The aluminum bomb flew out of the electromagnetic orbit at 7 Mach, flew in the atmosphere for 1 min, then flew out of the atmosphere and flew outside the atmosphere for 4 min, then fell back to Earth at a speed of about 5 Mach in 1 min. The electromagnetic gun has now come to actual combat and has been made into a 64000kJ electromagnetic railgun capable of hitting a land target about 370km away. The electromagnetic rail gun is not only light in weight, but also takes up less space than conventional artillery.

For the electromagnetic gun, neither the traditional fire protection nor the filling of ammunition is needed, which will undoubtedly change the naval traditional thinking of the sea artillery battle. The US Navy plans to install electromagnetic guns on the next generation CG(X) cruiser in 2020-2025, and the US Army is also studying smaller land-based electromagnetic guns.

Ground effect aircraft made of aluminum alloy

The ground effect aircraft combines the advantages of boat and flight, can slide on the surface with low fuel consumption, and can also come and go in ice, snow, grass, which is superior in cost (manufacturing and service) and load. Flying and helicopters are faster than hydrofoil, and have a distinct advantage at the military level. They are not easily detected by radar and there is no danger of touching mines. Land-effect aircraft is not a new type of weapon. It has already existed, but the aircraft recently built is more advanced, more powerful, and more comprehensive. Therefore, it has received the attention of the military. Russia is developing the field-effect aircraft. It has a dominant position. The material used for ground effect aircraft is aluminum. The net mass of aluminum parts accounts for about 65% of the total net mass of the aircraft. At the same time, many 5XXX alloy materials are used because they have strong corrosion resistance to seawater.

The A-050 Seagull-2 heavy-duty ground-effect aircraft of the Alekseyev Central Design Bureau of Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, has a large speed of 450km/h and a range of 5,000km. Its take-off mass is 54 tons and its loading capacity is 54 tons. 9 tons or 100 tons, the engine is said to be the R-195 used by the Su-25 attack aircraft, and the cruise engine is the TV-7-117 used by the Il-114 transport aircraft. The A-050 ground effect aircraft is still in the design stage and is scheduled to take off in 2022. The Seagull-2 type ground effect aircraft is of great military value and can be equipped with anti-ship missiles. The relevant departments said that China is very interested in Russian ground-effect aircraft. In 2015, it began to discuss with Russia the purchase of several aircraft for its own army.

The strange shape of the Seagull-2 heavy-duty ground effect aircraft, known as the "Caspian Monster", is a bird that flies up and looks like a beast. Its shape is huge, 73m long and 19m high; the speed is amazing, 500km/h; fully armed It can carry 6 ZM-80 "White Box" heavy-duty anti-ship missile launchers. It can destroy the US aircraft carrier battle group in one volley, and its power is equivalent to a missile cruiser, which is 10 times faster than a cruiser.

Submarine wearing aluminum alloy ring will not be found by hoarseness

According to Hong Kong's "South China Morning Post" reported in mid-December 2016, Chinese scientists are developing a new technology pioneered in the world, hoping to allow submarines to avoid sonar detection under water, not to be discovered by the other party. Their research found that installing special aluminum alloy rings on the submarine's outer casing would not reflect external sound waves. Scientists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Wuhan Huazhong University of Science and Technology found that with a metal ring with multiple etched trenches, the sound waves propagate along the ring instead of the reflection, while the sonar detector relies on the echoes reflected by the object to track the target. At this time, nothing can be heard. As far as the current technology is concerned, aluminum alloy is a preferred material for the manufacture of such a ring, which has a better cost performance, especially a 5XXX series alloy.

This discovery by scientists has been published in the world's leading scientific journal Nature Communication, which has attracted the attention of scientists in other countries. Studies by Chinese scientists have confirmed that the grooves on the aluminum alloy ring allow sound waves to travel in a fixed direction, as if the car is running along the highway. A number of such loops are placed on the submarine's outer casing according to technical specifications, and the sound waves can be dispersed in almost any direction in all directions. This has the possibility that the sonar cannot detect the submarine in the near future.

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