Nickel based alloys and their application

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Power generator steam turbine during repair process at power plant

Nickel alloys are used primarily for high temperature and corrosion resistant applications. A wide variety of nickel base alloys have been developed in order to meet specific material performance objectives for environmentally and structurally demanding applications. The aerospace market has been the primary impetus for the development and application of nickel based alloys. The jet engine industry has been using nickel base alloys to improve the performance and power. To put it simply, the higher the operating temperature of the engine, the more thrust can be produced. The operation temperatures are limited by the capability of the material used in the engine. Other major uses of nickel base alloys are their corrosion resistant category including nuclear, petrochemical, marine and specific general industrial applications. Any time a severe corrosive environment and industrial system can be encountered. Nickel base alloys are at the top of the list to meet the demands of the environment. The nickel alloys includes Inconel600, Inconel625, 718Inconel, Monel400, MonelK500 and other few also include. Forging technology has been developed and refined to accommodate the use of these alloys for specific applications.

Different alloys:

Open die and the closed die forging techniques are used to meet the industry needs for these alloys and the metallurgical expertise are required to meet material performance and goals of any individual alloy system for significant strength and ductility requirements. For example require well researched and defined process which typically involves a refined grain size. Achieving a specific refined grain size requires specific thermo mechanical processing techniques. The other major component for nickel alloys is power as defined by the size of the hammer or press used to forge the alloys; this is because the nickel base alloys are strong at higher temperatures. The nickel based alloy 718 Inconel is available in bar, wire, strip, rod, sheet. When initially supplied as bars it is machined into a hollow bar or tube and then these tubes are then used for actuation system tubes, pneumatic tube, air conditioning water supply and waste in commercial and military aircraft, invariably finished to very high tolerance.