Nickel Alloys for Aerospace Applications

There exists an extensive variety of Nickel based alloys which are widely used in aerospace engineering. These Nickel alloys for aerospace use are selected based on their ability to resist extremely high temperatures, corrosion and constant wear, and for their magnetic properties. Nickel alloys are structurally some of the toughest materials available, as well as being good conductors of electricity.

The following is a breakdown of some of the most advantageous properties which make Nickel alloys so vital for aerospace applications:

Immense strength at extremely high temperatures

Waspaloy is a great example of one of the Nickel alloys for aerospace which provides strength and reliability at high temperatures, as this alloy remains structurally sound at temperatures as high as 1600°F/870°C. As a result of Wasaploy’s great temperature resistance, it has great application for use in aircraft where burning jet fuel can cause parts to become immensely hot for extended periods of time.

Resistance to oxidation and corrosion

Nickel based alloys like Alloy X-750 have superb resistance in extremely stressful environments, such as those found in pressure vessels, rocket engines, gas turbines, and other aircraft structures. Being precipitation hardened with other resilient and versatile metals such as aluminium and titanium, Alloy X-750 can withstand very high levels of oxidation and corrosion which are often commonplace in numerous parts of an aircraft.

Low-expansion at severe temperatures

Alloy 36 is a Nickel and Iron based alloy (containing 36% Nickel) which is used in aerospace engineering. Its main advantage is its extremely low levels of expansion at cryogenic temperatures of 500°F and above, allowing this alloy to consistently retain its shape and strength. Its application within the field of aerospace includes the formation of composites; thermostat rods; measuring devices; laser components; and tanks and piping for liquefied gas storage.

Creep resistance under high stress conditions

Nickel alloys for aerospace applications such as Alloy 80A have exceptional creep resistance properties. This alloy’s ability to retain its fortitude under high degrees of stress and at temperatures of up to 850°C/ 1562°F make it extremely useful for the construction of aircraft exhaust valves and turbine rotors.

With the many advantages associated with Nickel based alloys, it is evident that without the use of these versatile metals, aircraft would have trouble finding a replacement alloy which provide them with the same range of applications which are essential for the high level of efficiency and reliability that are enjoyed today.