Available Technology

Aluminum Alloy for High Temperature Applications

A novel low cost cast aluminum alloy offers dramatic strength at high temperatures
NASA 398 is an aluminum-silicon hypereutectic alloy (16% w. Si) with a microstructure that consists of small polygonal primary silicon particles evenly distributed in an aluminum matrix. The alloy can be utilized in automotive applications with high mechanical loading at elevated temperatures from 500 F (260C) to 700 F (370C), and can offer significant improvements in strength relative to most conventional aluminum alloys. Material physical and mechanical properties for NASA 398-T5 (permanent mold) are provided in Table 1 below. Additional information is available on request. http://techtran.msfc.nasa.gov/technology/TOP31294-Aluminum-Alloy.php
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center originally developed a high-performance piston alloy to meet U.S. legislative restrictions on vehicular exhaust hydrocarbon emissions. NASA 398 aluminum alloy exhibits excellent tensile and fatigue strength at elevated temperatures. NASA 398 alloy also offers superior wear resistance, surface hardness, dimensional stability, and lower thermal expansion compared to conventional aluminum alloys. NASA 398 has been used in mass production and has enabled award-winning and innovative commercial products, and the NASA Marshall Technology Transfer Office is seeking new licensees that may also benefit from its adoption.

Significant improvement in tensile strength at elevated temperatures (500F - 700F)


Internal combustion engine pistons, manifolds, cylinder heads and heat exchangers

Applications requiring light-weight, high-strength and wear-resistant alloys at high temperatures

Potential replacement for cast titanium and iron-based alloys to reduce part weight and cost

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Patent Issue Date: 
May 21, 2015
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