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Why isn’t aluminum used for the skin of fast-moving aircraft or spacecraft?


Aluminum alloy is used on the surface of many commercial and private aircraft. Although it’s lightweight and therefore used in the construction of frames, it is not used on the exterior of hypersonic aircraft or spacecraft. It is not a good insulator and loses its strength at high temperatures. Without protection, it cannot be used for skin surfaces that become very hot, such as on vehicles that fly faster than twice the speed of sound.

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