NASA’s Super Aerospace Alloy is 1000x More DurableApril 22, 2022
The GRX-810 alloy can withstand temperatures of 2000F and might become a key component of rocket-engine design in the future.
It is a 3D-printed oxide dispersion-strengthened alloy, which means that its structure is highly engineered by placing different types of particles at precise locations in the lattice of the material. These materials are incredibly resistant and ideal for harsh weather conditions in space or near-space.
NASA says that it has 1000x more endurance to such conditions than existing alloys currently in use. This longevity and the optimized process of 3D-printing components should have a massive impact on the cost of space flights.
Note that “1000x longer endurance” does not equate to a “1000x stronger” metal. It means the material’s lifespan is longer as it resists heat and stress better. That said, the GRX-810 allow is twice as strong regarding fracturing. NASA points out that it is also 3.5X more flexible to bend/stretch than existing alternatives, which is impressive.
NASA used a thermodynamic computer simulation to develop the required composition of this alloy and claims the optimum composition was found after only 30 simulations.
Beyond aerospace usage, I wonder how fast this type of material engineering might spread to consumer-centric products such as automobile or mobile device design. The ability to print extremely precise details coupled with engineering the suitable material for the job opens many design possibilities.
NASA’s Super Aerospace Alloy is 1000x More Durable