Nickel Alloys for Aerospace Applications
An extensive variety of Nickel based alloys are widely used in aerospace engineering. Selected based on their ability to resist extremely high temperatures, corrosion and constant wear, for their magnetic properties, and electrical conductivity, Nickel alloys for aerospace are structurally some of the toughest materials available.
The following is a breakdown of some Nickel’s most advantageous properties, making Nickel alloys 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.
This alloy remains structurally sound at temperatures as high as 1600°F/870°C. As a result, Wasaploy 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. 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 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:
- Thermostat rods
- Measuring devices
- Laser components
- 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 alloys 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 that provides the same range of applications. These are essential to provide the high levels of efficiency and reliability that are enjoyed in aircraft today.