SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1991

Aluminum-Lithium Alloys: Mechanical Property and Composition Effects on Liquid Oxygen Compatibility


A wide range of composition and temper variants of aluminum-lithium alloys were fabricated and subjected to an exaggerated liquid oxygen (LOX) impact test. In addition, each of the five alloys were evaluated using a promoted combustion test to determine the threshold pressure. Within the scope of this study, a close correlation was found between mechanical properties and LOX impact reaction frequency as defined by visual observation. Scanning Electron Microscopy was used to examine tested specimens. The mechanical property and impact sensitivity relationship, combined with failure analysis and reaction classifications, provide a means to determine the probable mechanisms for impact reactions. With regard to the promoted combustion test, aluminum-lithium alloys display a ten-fold increase in threshold pressure compared with conventional aluminum alloys. The probable mechanisms contributing to this advantage will be discussed.

Author Information

Tack, WT
Al-Li Alloy Characterization, Martin Marietta Astronautics Group, Denver, CO
McNamara, DK
Martin Marietta Laboratories, Baltimore, MD
Stoltzfus, JM
NASA White Sands Test Facility, Las Cruces, NM
Sircar, S
Lockheed-ESC NASA White Sands Test Facility, Las Cruces, NM
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Developed by Committee: G04
Pages: 216–239
DOI: 10.1520/STP17765S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5170-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1461-6