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The Spec Says That You Must Use Alloy 718 – What Is It & Where Do You Get It?

Alloy is just a word that means something metallic that has been produced by combining two or more different metallic elements into a composite whole. In engineering science; this is done to improve selected properties of the composite and, effectively, make the best use of the individual properties of each part of the mix. For example, a metal that has excellent resistance to corrosion might be too weak for the duties that it will later be put to; or one that has a wide range of temperature resistance might be very difficult to shape during the subsequent manufacturing process (whereby the “lump” of produced metal is turned into a precision component). This even applies to precious metals like gold; totally pure gold is somewhat soft and finger ring made from it will be easily misshaped or subjected to wear when worn on someone’s finger; add in a (cheaper) more wear resistant metal and you have an alloy more suited to jewelry manufacture and subsequent use.

Alloy 718

Unfortunately, unless you know the terminology (or jargon); it will take you some time to find out that the number alloy 718is given to a particular alloy based on the metallic element “nickel”. From that point on; it is just a question of finding out which of nickel’s many alloys is actual Alloy 718. Nickel has been alloyed for millennia; but it is only in more recent times that the alloying process has been deliberately formulated.

Unintentional use of nickel dates back to around 3500 BC. Bronzes from Asia Minor have been found to contain up to 2% nickel. Further examples have been found in China and dated to between 1700 and 1400 BC. This early use is thought to have been a result of mistaking nickel for copper; as in medieval Germany, when they found an ore that resembled copper; but, were unable to extract any copper from it. In frustration; they named the ore after a mythological mischievous sprite – “nickel” (similar root to “Old Nick”); combined with “kupfer” (German for copper) giving us the English term “cupronickel” – a nickel alloy that is still widely used today – but; is not the nickel Alloy 718 that you are looking for.

You Are Looking For A High Performance Alloy

These are usually referred to as superalloys because they exhibit excellent mechanical strength; particularly at high temperatures; along with good resistance to corrosion and oxidation degradation. Most of these superalloys are based on nickel or cobalt and were developed for use in aeronautical gas turbine engines – particularly for the turbine blades.

Superalloys are not cheap and many component manufacturers would not require the large amounts produced per batch from the specialty metals plants. Therefore, you should seek out a stockist and enquire about their available range of semi-finished nickel Alloy 718 material. For more information about Alloy 718 visit.Save

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