1.3.6 Main Takeaways on Temperature and the Environment

Course subject(s) Module 1. Introduction to Aerospace Structures and Materials

From the desert to deep space

  • Temperature affects material properties such as yield stress and ultimate stress
  • This is why for every material, an operating temperature range exists in which they may be safely used in aerospace
  • Thermal stresses and strains can also occur when a material is exposed to a change in temperature

There’s more to air than just nitrogen and oxygen

  • Aircraft and spacecraft operating environments can have a great effect on the performance of materials
  • Moisture and chemicals can facilitate, or speed up, corrosion processes, or otherwise affect the integrity of a material
  • Radiation, such as UV radiation, can degrade materials, particularly polymers; vacuum degassing of materials can also lead to a deterioration of material properties
  • It is, therefore, important to research what environment your aircraft or spacecraft will be operating in before making structural and material decisions
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