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High nickel content alloys are a staple of the aerospace and pharmaceutical manufacturing industry due to their many unique properties. For example, within the aerospace industry, high nickel content alloys are preferred due to their strength at extremely high temperatures, and their resistance to corrosion and oxidisation. Further, when exposed to high temperatures, such as within a jet engine, high nickel content alloys experience very low expansion. Within the pharmaceutical industry, an advantage of a high nickel content alloy is that they are inert, and also are resistant to corrosion. In addition to this, they are easily sterilised, further demonstrating their appropriateness for the pharmaceutical industry.

Whilst materials such as stainless steels can be extremely strong and resist corrosive materials, these properties are fully dependent on what material forms their alloy. Depending on the type of stainless steel, it can be stronger than some nickel alloys at severely low temperatures. Therefore, it is important to know the properties and qualities of nickel alloys before making the decision between stainless steel and a high nickel content alloy.

 

Inconel

Inconel is known for being strong at very high temperatures. Further, when put under high temperatures or pressure, Inconel is also resistant to deforming or creeping. Inconel is especially appropriate for the aerospace industry for use within jet engines, which are challenging from an engineering perspective as they must be made from materials which function at extreme temperatures at either end of the spectrum. Also, Inconel can also be utilised within exhaust systems, and can be a more cost-effective solution than other high nickel content alloys.

 

Hastelloy

Hastelloy as a high nickel content alloy has the property of being strongly resistant to corrosive chemicals and acids, for example sulphuric and hydrochloric acids. This means that Hastelloy can be used in situations where alloys which are not as resistant are not able safely function. Additionally, Hastelloy is also strong when subjected to high temperatures. As a result of these properties, Hastelloy is an appropriate high nickel content alloy to be utilised by the chemical processing and pharmaceutical industries.

 

Duplex

Duplex gets its name due to its structure consisting of both austenite and ferrite phases in equal proportions. As an alloy, Duplex is extremely strong and highly resistant to corrosion, specifically to chloride stress fracturing. Further, Duplex is also particularly resistant to sulphide corrosion. An advantage of a Duplex alloy is that is it can be manufactured to be thinner, whilst still maintaining its strength, meaning that it can be a cost-effective solution,

 

Super Duplex

Similar to standard Duplex, but with more nickel and chromium, Super Duplex is more resistant to corrosive materials and acids than Duplex. This means that in situations where standard Duplex is inappropriate due to a risk of corrosion, pitting or fracturing, Super Duplex can be utilised. However, due to it containing a higher nickel content than Duplex, Super Duplex is more expensive. Regardless, Super Duplex is also strong, and can maintain its strength even manufactured into thin sheets.

 

Fecralloy

Fecralloy can be used at extremely high temperatures, specifically those exceeding 1400 degrees Celsius. As it is highly resistant to oxidation, Fecralloy can also have an extended life span, when compared to other high nickel content alloys, which may need to be replaced when oxidised. Due to these properties, Fecralloy works well as a component within an electrical setting, as well as within kilns and furnaces which operate under many different types of atmospheres.

 

AL6XN

AL6XN is a seawater resistant high nickel content alloy, which is also resistant to corrosive materials and acids. It’s high nitrogen content further helps AL6XN to be resistant to pitting, further, similar to Hastelloy, it is also very strong, another effect of the high nitrogen content. As a result of its high strength and corrosion resistance properties, AL6XN can be a better material to use than a more traditional Duplex alloy in specific scenarios, despite being less cost effective.

 

Orbital Fabrications has over 30 years’ experience in orbital welding services, and is an  industry expert in stainless steel TIG welding.  Our experienced team can weld high nickel content alloys to fabricate components for the aerospace, pharmaceutical and oil & gas industries. We are committed to continuous investment in specialist equipment and innovative machinery that enables us to manufacture high quality modules and complete system builds using stainless steel and high nickel alloys for one off fabrication, prototyping, and batch work through to continuous manufacturing volume production. Orbital Fabrications is an expert in TIG Welding for a variety of customers including those from the aerospace, pharmaceutical and oil & gas industries.

We are specialised welding experts, and we have many years’ experience in orbital TIG welding, hand TIG welding, turntable TIG welding and lathe TIG welding.

We also provide helium leak testing services. Before delivering our assemblies to you, we always test them for integrity. As well as offering this service for our own welded assemblies, we also offer to check your assemblies on your behalf.