Inconel alloys are oxidation-corrosion-resistant materials that are ideally suited for use in high-pressure and high-heat settings. Inconel develops a thick, stable, passivating oxide layer when heated, which protects the surface from further attack. Inconel has a wide temperature range of strength, making it appropriate for high-temperature applications where thermally induced crystal gaps would cause aluminum and steel to creep. Depending on the alloy, Inconel’s high-temperature strength is achieved through solid solution strengthening or precipitation hardening.
Five Inconel Use case Examples
Aerospace and jet engines
In the aerospace industry, nickel alloys are a logical choice. Engine parts, in particular, are subjected to extreme heat and pressure. The materials must be able to survive this environment while yet maintaining their strength and integrity. Nickel alloys have a low expansion coefficient at these high temperatures, are resistant to creep under severe stress, and are corrosion resistant.
INCONEL alloy is utilized in jet engine and airframe components including lock wire, exhaust liners, and turbine seals, for example. Because INCONEL alloy has such great mechanical strength and is so simple to work with, it may be used in a wide range of aerospace applications.
Oil and gas extraction
Oil and gas extraction is one of the most important industrial applications for INCONEL alloys. When it comes to material selection, there are several aspects to consider for design engineers in this industry. Temperatures can reach dangerously high levels, and the raw materials being processed or stored are highly flammable and caustic.
In the processing systems for liquefied natural gas production, super alloys like INCONEL are used to separate extracted fluids. This material possesses remarkable fatigue and thermal-fatigue strength, as well as strong tensile, creep, and rupture strength, and weldability. Steel transfer piping in sour gas and gas extraction equipment is frequently lined with it.
Pollution control and waste processing
Pollution management and waste processing are demanding situations in which materials must perform at their best. Natural hazardous and corrosive substances must be kept, transported, and treated. As a result, alloys used in waste-processing systems must be resistant to both oxidizing and reducing acid solutions, as well as high temperatures encountered during operations, without compromising structural integrity or strength.
INCONEL, which has great corrosion resistance in these types of conditions, is one valuable alloy in this area. It has a high percentage of molybdenum (15-17%), which makes it very resistant to pitting and crevice corrosion. It also has a low carbon content, which ensures that carbide precipitation during welding is minimal, ensuring corrosion resistance in as-welded structures.
Automobile engines are fragile machines. They create a lot of heat, but they also have to be dependable and light. Engineers are always acquiring materials that can keep up with technical improvements and push to offer the ‘next big thing’ in cars as the automotive industry evolves. Car engines must be fuel-efficient and control pollution levels, in addition to having more power and push — balancing all of these needs is no easy task. Ignition systems, sensors, safety devices, and electrical switchgear all use INCONEL alloys.
INCONEL alloys are used in a variety of seawater applications. For example, on offshore platforms and in power and processing plants that use seawater as a cooling. Despite the fact that seawater systems are highly corrosive, it is critical to utilize materials that will not degrade in these conditions. Down-hole equipment, platform risers, hangers, and high-strength fasteners are among the other applications for INCONEL alloys.