Metallurgy, as a science has been known to the human race since time immemorial. Some of the weapons used even by pre-historic races seem to suggest two or more metals were alloyed to make a stronger material. Today, after continuous research and commercialization of the technology, many metal alloys can be found in use in innumerable applications. One of the popular amongst them is nickel alloys. Metallic nickel has many properties and once alloyed in certain proportion with other metals like iron, chromium and copper can produce some brilliant metals and are superior to any of these metals when used alone.
Some of the Popular Alloying Combinations
As mentioned, the major commercial exploitation of nickel for alloying is with metals like iron, copper and chromium. But the alloy making units can come up with subtle variations in the composition or the ratio of each metal to obtain different alloys with particular end-use applications in mind. Some metal companies not only do the alloying of metal at their factories, but go beyond and making many components using the alloys and supplying them to the trade and industry. As an example, a particular nickel alloy can be used to make the entire set of pipe fittings, like pips, tubes, flanges, fasteners and so on in different sizes. The alloyed metal could be forged to make more components that are specifically used in a particular industry.
Extensive Range of Uses and Applications
When it comes to the list of industries that prefer components made with nickel alloys, it’s quite a lengthy one. For example the property of these alloys to withstand corrosion even in tough conditions makes it the ideal choice for making components used in the submarines. The sea water or other chemical environments do not affect the alloy made with nickel as the major component. On similar lines, some manufacturers exploit the feature of the metal alloys made with nickel, of moderating thermal expansion in metals when subject to high heat. So where an application would need a component made with simple iron metal, but cannot be deployed due to a high temperature environment, can go for the making of the components in nickel alloys.
The immediate example that can be cited for this is in furnaces, where temperature controllers have to be installed, it would be better to fit the probes made with the alloy metal where nickel’s ratio is high. The same purpose is served in the aerospace industry where high temperature situations are common. Some of key components of aircraft engines are made with these alloys with nickel in them.