Metal spinning is used to form a wide variety of high-performance, axially symmetric parts. This metalworking process is compatible with both traditional and exotic metals – such as Inconel.
Inconel is ideal for use in some of the toughest conditions found in manufacturing, and is very suitable for applications within high heat, high pressure environments. While metal spinning Inconel can be challenging, skilled operators will nonetheless be able to produce high-quality, high-strength Inconel parts.
What is Inconel?
Inconel is a nickel alloy containing varying quantities of nickel, chromium, and iron, with nickel forming the greatest composition percentage.
The exact quantities of the metals comprising Inconel will ultimately impact its properties and performance. Inconel comes in a variety of unique forms. Alloys of Inconel include:
Inconel 600 is a nickel–chromium alloy with good resistance to oxidation at high temperatures. Its high nickel content enables it to withstand chloride ion stress-corrosion cracking as well as corrosion caused by water and caustic substances. It is often applied in chemical and food processing, furnace manufacturing, process equipment, and more.
Inconel 617 is a high-temperature nickel–chromium–cobalt–molybdenum alloy that resists corrosion and oxidation very well. Its many applications include gas turbine engine ducting and combustion liners. It is also a popular material for use in chemical processing applications because it can abide a wide range of aqueous corrosive media.
Like Inconel 600, Inconel 625 is a nickel-based alloy with great corrosion and oxidation resistance. It maintains outstanding strength and durability within temperatures ranging from cryogenic to those in excess of 2,000° F. Inconel 625 owes its strength to its composition of columbium and molybdenum, which make it suitable for applications such as:
- Heat shields
- Furnace hardware
- Gas turbine engine ducting
- Combustion lines/spray bars
- Chemical plant hardware
- Special seawater applications
The selection of the most appropriate Inconel alloy depends on the conditions in which it will be deployed. At Helander, we work closely with our clients to determine the most optimal type of Inconel for their needs.
While all Inconel alloys are characterized by high strength and resilience under extreme environmental conditions, Inconel 718 stands out for its tensile strength, impact strength, and temperature resistance up to 1850-2000° F. These properties make Inconel 718 especially popular for aircraft engines and other aerospace components, which also benefit from the metal’s inherent resistance to corrosion.
More broadly, Inconel 718 is an excellent choice when environmental conditions may compromise other high-performance m etals. For example, many oil and gas components are made with Inconel 718 due to its ability to resist chlorides and tolerate operational stresses. Inconel can be forged into a variety of components for harsh applications, including valves, wheels, fasteners, spacers, and much more.
Inconel is challenging to work with and requires special expertise and tooling. The alloy can be machined after annealing or age-hardening, depending on the desired properties—age hardening yields a superior surface finish, while annealing often increases durability.. At Helander, our team has extensive experience working with Inconel to fabricate components for use in myriad environments.
What is Inconel Used For?
Although the types and compositions of Inconel may vary, all Inconel alloys are marked by their high strength, superior corrosion and oxidation resistance, and durability in the face of high heat and pressure – they function very well even in harsh environments.
Inconel retains enough tensile strength at high temperatures to hold moderate loads under extreme stress. For example, Inconel 625 retains weights of up to 13.3 ksi at 2,000°F. Inconel also works well in manufacturing processes that cycle workpieces through low- and high-temperature environments in rapid succession.
Most Inconel alloys retain excellent oxidation resistance at high and low temperatures, which make them a great fit for processes where temperatures tend to fluctuate from cryogenic lows to heat-treatment highs within short periods of time. Inconel also performs well in any environment that subjects materials to caustic corrosion, stress corrosion, or aqueous corrosion.
The diverse properties of Inconel are advantageous to industries such as:
- Aerospace: Inconel can be implemented in building jet engines and turbines. Inconel 600 in particular is often found in jet engines and airframe components, such as turbine seals, lockwire, and exhaust liners.
- Automotive: Automotive components must withstand high temperatures throughout a vehicle’s lifespan. Many engine and steering components are made up of Inconel, which capably stands the test of time.
- Chemical processing: The excellent corrosion resistance of Inconel enables it to perform well in environments that expose it to chloride ions and pure water. It commonly used to store and transport these chemicals, as well as to build the instruments that work with the chemicals themselves.
- Marine: Excellent resistance to saltwater corrosion at a wide range of temperatures makes Inconel ideal for shipping and docking applications. Ship hulls, steering components, navigation buoys, and ocean transport containers all use Inconel in some capacity.
- Medical: As X-Ray and MRI equipment typically consists of components manufactured through a high-heat process, Inconel enables the manufacturing equipment producing these parts to maintain optimal performance at higher temperatures.
Inconel Metal Spinning Services at Helander
Given the unique compositions and inherent properties of Inconel, it is best to seek highly skilled technicians with extensive Inconel experience. In the right hands, complex shapes and parts can be flawlessly spun from Inconel. The resulting high-strength components perform exceedingly well even in the most difficult application conditions.
At Helander, we continuously build on over 80 years of production excellence. Our metal forming and fabricating services are custom-tailored to our clients’ unique specifications. Our proficient technicians are able to spin a large variety of Inconel parts to suit a broad array of applications.
If you would like to learn more about our Inconel solutions, contact us today.