Nickel Alloys are, as their name suggests, a kind of metallic alloy, a primary component of which is Nickel. Indeed, for many such Nickel-based alloy, nickel functions as the balancing metal; copper, for example, is completely soluble in nickel, whilst iron and chromium are soluble over a wide range of compositions. As a result of this, the research and development of many different alloys (which make use of these elements) is possible.
Nickel alloys generally achieve both excellent temperature resistance and corrosion resistance and tend to be used in the most aggressive environments and demanding applications. For example, they are commonly found in chemical processing equipment, power generation, heat exchangers, oil and gas tooling and aerospace applications.
As families of alloys have been developed by leading steel producers, they have been marketed under a variety of trade names. These trade names have gained common acceptance, even when the alloy is no longer produced by the trademark owner. These include Monel, Incoloy, Inconel (Special Metals Inc), Hastelloy (Haynes International Inc) and Invar (Arcelor Mittal).
The most commonly used nickel alloys include Alloy 718 (Inconel 718, UNS N07718, 2.4668), Alloy 625 (Inconel 625, UNS N06625, 2.4856), Alloy 825 (Incoloy 825, UNS N08825, 2.4858), Alloy K500 (Monel K500, 2.4375). Alloy 925 (Incoloy 925, UNS N09925) is increasing in popularity as a lower-cost alternative to Alloy 718. These alloys are predominantly used in the Oil and Gas market, for a wide variety of components.
More highly alloyed (and more expensive) grades are used within the chemical process industry or pharmaceuticals, where even greater levels of resistance to acid and aggressive solutions are required. These include Alloy C276 (Hastelloy C276, UNS N10276, 2.4819) and Alloy C22 (Hastelloy C22, UNS N06022, 2.4602).
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