tungsten nickel alloy has a high density and good mechanical properties for a given measure of ductility. This makes it useful in radiation shielding, weights and counterbalances, boring bars, grinding quills, crankshaft balancing, ordnance components, and vibration damping in machine tools. It also has a low expansion coefficient, and is magnetic, which makes it useful in glass-to-metal seals.
It is a multi-component tungsten alloy with nickel as the principal matrix component, which provides the wettability necessary to enable tungsten to be sinterized into a dense, compact structure at a lower temperature than would be possible in pure tungsten. This reduction in the sintering temperature allows the use of lower cost production processes to achieve the required level of tensile strength and hardness for many applications.
The chemistry of the nickel-based alloys controls the formation of intermetallics, particularly the topologically close packed m phases (mu). The composition of the alloy influences the tendency to form these phases, and this is related to the concentration of the tungsten in the solid solution.
Tungsten nickel has been found to be a highly effective material for the protection of nuclear reactors against electromagnetic pulses, which cause damage by destroying atomic bonds and causing deformations within the material. This is due to the fact that the tungsten nickel alloy contains iron, which prevents ionisation of the tungsten, and therefore reduces the intensity and duration of the electromagnetic pulse. The alloy also exhibits a relatively high modulus of elasticity and has good creep resistance.