Inconel — material overview
Looking for a valve in this exotic alloy? Find it in the following configurations: Ball, Butterfly, Cast, Check, Control, Cryogenic, Custom made, Foot, Forged, Gate, Globe, Needle, Plug, and Safety relief, as well as Strainers.
Alloy Valve Stockist supplies inconel gate, globe, check, ball, butterfly, plug, needle and custom made valves.
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Inconel is a registered trademark of Special Metals Corporation that refers to a family of austenitic nickel-chromium-based superalloys. Inconel alloys are typically used in high temperature applications. It is often referred to in English as “Inco” (or occasionally “Iconel”). Common trade names for Inconel include: Inconel 625, Chronin 625, Altemp 625, Haynes 625, Nickelvac 625 and Nicrofer 6020.
Different Inconels have widely varying compositions, but all are predominantly nickel, with chromium as the second element.
Inconel alloys are oxidation and corrosion resistant materials well suited for service in extreme environments. When heated, Inconel forms a thick, stable, passivating oxide layer protecting the surface from further attack. Inconel retains strength over a wide temperature range, attractive for high temperature applications where aluminum and steel would succumb to creep as a result of thermally-induced crystal vacancies (see Arrhenius equation). Inconel’s high temperature strength is developed by solid solution strengthening or precipitation strengthening, depending on the alloy. In age hardening or precipitation strengthening varieties, small amounts of niobium combine with nickel to form the intermetallic compound Ni3Nb or gamma prime (?’). Gamma prime forms small cubic crystals that inhibit slip and creep effectively at elevated temperatures.
Inconel is a difficult metal to shape and machine using traditional techniques due to rapid work hardening. After the first machining pass, work hardening tends to elastically deform either the workpiece or the tool on subsequent passes. For this reason, age-hardened Inconels such as 718 are machined using an aggressive but slow cut with a hard tool, minimizing the number of passes required. Alternatively, the majority of the machining can be performed with the workpiece in a solutionised form, with only the final steps being performed after age-hardening. External threads are machined using a lathe to “single point” the threads, or by rolling the threads using a screw machine. Holes with internal threads are made by welding or brazing threaded inserts made of stainless steel. Cutting of plate is often done with a waterjet cutter. Internal threads can also be cut by single point method on lathe, or by threadmilling on a machining center. New whisker reinforced ceramic cutters are also used to machine nickel alloys. They remove material at a rate typically 8 times faster than carbide cutters.
Welding inconel alloys is difficult due to cracking and microstructural segregation of alloying elements in the heat affected zone. However, several alloys have been designed to overcome these problems. The most common way to weld inconel is by using a TIG welder with the appropriate filler metal.
• Inconel 600: Solid solution strengthened
• Inconel 625: Acid resistant, good weldability
• Inconel 690: Low cobalt content for nuclear applications
• Inconel 718: Gamma double prime strengthened with good weldability
• Inconel 751: Increased aluminum content for improved rupture strength in the 1600 F range
• Inconel 939: Gamma prime strengthened with good weldability