Inconel refers to a distinct family of austenitic nickel-chromium-based superalloys, and is a registered trademark of Special Metals Corporation. Inconel alloys basically are materials well-suited for extreme environments that are subjected to elevated temperature and pressure, owing to their incredible oxidation-corrosion resistance properties. When heated, this material tends to form a thick and stable oxide layer that protects the surface from any kind of further attack. Such superalloys also retain high strength over an expansive temperature range, and are good for use in high temperature applications where materials like steel and aluminum would succumb to creep due to thermally induced crystal vacancies.
Key Characteristics of Inconel
- Good resistance to a number of acids, including hydrochloric, phosphoric, nitric and sulfuric
- Almost completely free from any kind of chloride-induced stress corrosion cracking
- Incredible mechanical properties at both extremely low and extremely high-temperature levels
- Exceptional resistance to intercrystalline, crevice and pitting corrosion
- Great resistance to oxidation at high-temperature levels
Common applications of Inconel
Oil and Gas Extraction: Inconel is commonly used in gas and oil extraction industries owing to his great oxidation and high-temperature resistance properties. The gas and oil industries usually need such a material that has the capacity to withstand extreme and volatile environments, as well as corrosive gasses. Inconel 625® is especially used quite commonly for the processing systems needed for the process of natural gas production. This material also high oxidation resistance and thermal fatigue strength that makes it ideal for use for line steel transfer piping or separation of extracted fluids.
Saltwater Applications: Inconel is very often used in marine applications owing to its incredible resistance to sodium chloride at a wide range of temperatures. Hence, for factories located near the ocean or processes that use salt, this material can be perfect for a parts washing basket.
Jet Engines: Inconel is used by many for the construction of turbines and jet engines. Jet engines are unique in nature when it comes to the aspect that they have to withstand both extremely low and high temperatures frequently during their usage. While cooling technologies tend to be used in their systems to reduce temperatures rapidly, in many cases they can exceed the tolerance levels of most metals quite easily. Inconel 600 is one of the most popular materials that is used in the aerospace industry as it manages to retain its great tensile strength and oxidation resistance even after rapid changes in temperature.
Flare stacks on offshore oil platforms, pollution control equipment, and nuclear reactors are some of the other most popular applications of Inconel 617.
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