There are various nickel alloys used in high temperature industrial applications now. It’s corrosion resistant capabilities make nickel alloys a welcome choice is high endurance applications. There are wide varieties of nickel based alloys, which had been developed over years to meet unique material performance objectives for a handful of structurally and environmentally demanding applications.
The primary impetus in invention of nickel based alloys was the needs in aerospace industry. For the last 50 plus years, nickel based alloys are used in manufacturing aerospace components. To put this simpler terms, the higher operating temperature of a jet engine is, the more thrust will be produced. These operational temperatures get limited by the capability of nicked-based alloys used in engine parts. Heat resistance capabilities of nickel based alloys also make it highly usable in other industrial applications too.
Another major characteristics of nickel based alloys, which makes it the favorite of industry is its corrosion resistance capabilities. Corrosion resistance makes nickel based alloys an ideal choice is nuclear, marine, petrochemical, and other such industrial applications. Anytime, if a highly corrosion prone environment is identified in any industrial system, nickel based alloys will be the first choice to meet the most challenging demands of such environments. You can see the application of nickel alloys in almost all kind of adverse settings now.
It is with the help of forging technology that nickel alloys have been developed and refined over many years to accommodate the industrial use of such alloys in various applications. Many manufactures make branded nickel based alloys, which are now popularly used universally. The major forging techniques used to meet the industrial needs of nickel based alloys are open die and closed die techniques. Ductility and strength requirements for the alloys are met using specific thermo-mechanical processing techniques.
The major families of nickel based alloys are Inconel, Monel, and Hastelloy alloys. All these families are known as superalloys” which exhibit high mechanical strength, corrosion resistance, and surface stability. Parts made of these superalloys are used in aerospace and marine industries largely now, which require high precision. These superalloys can also retain their shape in highly adverse environments as pressure variations and temperature ranges.
Inconel alloys – This type of alloys basically consist of nickel-chromium-iron mixture with additions as niobium, molybdenum, and cobalt. Some configurations also many have trace amounts of sulfur, copper, aluminum, manganese, carbon, silicon, titanium, and boron etc. When it is heated, this type of steel-nickel alloy form a dense oxide layer, which helps protect the surface from any kind of damages.
Monel alloys – This alloy type consist of nickel and copper in different proportions with trace of iron, manganese, carbon, and silicon. This alloy family is ideal for parts and equipment manufacturing for high corrosion resistant, extreme high and low temperatures. Typical Monel application include aircraft wiring, drill collars, ship piping system, chemical tubing etc.
Hastelloy alloys – This consist of mainly nickel, chromium, molybdenum, iron, and copper. There can be also varying trace of other elements. As in case of the superalloys, Hastelloy alloys are ideally used in varying high temperature applications as nuclear reactors, distillation apparatuses, chemical equipment, and valves etc.