The Inconel belongs to the family of superalloys which are based on austenite nickel-chromium. Inconel alloys are corrosion as well as oxidation resistant materials which perfectly fit for service under extreme conditions subjected to immense pressure and heat. When they are treated, Inconel will form a thick, passivating, stable oxide layer thereby defending the surface from any further attacks. Inconel also keeps strength for over a wide array of temperature, is deemed to be quite attractive to high temperature applications that steel and aluminum succumb to creep in effect of crystal vacancies that are thermally induced. The high temp strength of the Inconel is made from solid solution precipitation or strengthening, depending of course of the alloy used. The Inconel alloys are usually used in high temperature applications, including wire mesh. It is often times referred to in English as Inco.
Brief History of Inconel Wire Mesh
The Inconel family of alloys was thought to be first developed in the 1940s by research teams at Hereford, England which was acquired by SMC in support of the creation of the Whittle jet engine. Various Inconels have different compositions but most are predominantly nickel with chromium as the next abundant element. Wire mesh applications can especially benefit from that.
Uses of Inconel
Inconel is often seen or encountered in harsh temperatures. It is quite commonly used as inconel wire mesh and is also common in seals, gas turbine blades and even combustors. They are also used as turbocharger seals and rotors, electric submersible type of well pump motor shafts, chemical processing, high temp fasteners, heat exchanger tubing, pressure vessels, steam generators, and other core components in nuclear pressurized water reactors. The Inconel is also used in the turbo system of the third generation Mazda RX7 as well as in the exhaust systems of high powered rotary engine Norton motorcycles wherein exhaust temperatures usually reach more than 1,000 degrees Celsius. Inconel is increasingly utilized in waste incinerators boilers. Joint European Torus and tokamaks vacuum vessels are all made from Inconel. Inconel also has several applications in aerospace which includes the following:
- North American Aviation built the skin of North American X-15 Rocket powered aircraft form the Incone alloy which is labeled as Inconel X.
- Rocketdyne has utlized Inconel X-750 for its thrust chamber of F-1 rocket engine and used for the initial phase of Saturn V booster.
- SpaceX also used Inconel in its engine manifold of the Merlin rocket engine which powered the Falcon 9 launch vehicle.
- In a first for 3D printing, the SuperDavo SpaceX rocket engine which provides launch escape system as well as propulsive landing thrust for the Dragon V2 crew carrying space shuttle is fully printed. Particularly, the engine combustion chamber is printed with inconel using the process of direct metal laser sintering and this also operates at a very high temperature with a chamber pressure of about 6,900 kilopascals.
Today, the tesla motors are now making use of the inconel in place of steel in order to upgrade the main battery pack contractor in the Model S so that it will remain springy under the heat as well as in heavy current.