Metals Manufactured In Space Could Increase Jet Engine Efficiency

Illustration for article titled Metals Manufactured In Space Could Increase Jet Engine Efficiency

The European Space Agency is looking into manufacturing intermetallic materials in zero gravity space to cut the weight of jet engines in half and increase fuel efficiency. Intermetallic materials are different than alloys in that they are combined at the molecular level, as opposed to merely melting down metals and creating a homogeneous mix. Scientists want to manufacture Titanium Aluminide up in space because on Earth, the difference in the metals' weight prevents the alloys from diffusing correctly. The ESA currently plans to go up to the International Space Station to conduct tests on the manufacturing process. [BBC via io9 via DViCE]

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DISCUSSION

A pet peeve of mine, but things in space stay in orbit because of gravity. In the ISS orbit, gravity is 90+% of sea level. There is no zero gravity, but because everything falls at the same rate, there is a free-fall environment. Just tilting at windmills....