Researchers at Empa in Zurich Switzerland have successfully joined nanostructured aerospace grade aluminum alloys with a minimal loss in mechanical properties using nanotechnology. The authors outline in a communication to Advanced Materials how it is possible to braze and solder benignly ultrafine grain aluminum. Nanostructured reactive foils were used as local heat sources. These foils rapidly release thermal energy directly at the interface between two materials leading to a metallurgical joint. The heat affected zone and the duration of heating are substantially limited, which in turn minimizes damage to the bulk. This is a first in the literature and is extremely relevant to several industries that have been struggling with the problem of joining temperature-sensitive materials while avoiding grain growth. This oven-less joining demonstration increases the attractiveness of nanostructured aluminum alloys as lightweight replacements material for conventional alloys.