When you think of materials that can withstand intense heat and pressure, you probably think of inconel material. It’s a nickel-chrome super alloy known for its resistance to corrosion, oxidation, and strength at high temperatures. This makes it perfect for extreme environments.
Inconel is often used in jet engine exhausts, flare stacks, seawater equipment, and chemical plant components. Its resistance to corrosion and oxidation helps protect other equipment from damage in these harsh environments.
In the automotive industry, inconel is sometimes used for critical components in high-performance cars and racing engines. It is also found in passenger car airbags, sensors, electrical switchgear, and ignition systems. In NHRA Top Fuel and Funny Car drag racing, inconel is often used for the exhaust valves on the heads of their turbo or supercharged engines.
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Aside from being resistant to corrosion, inconel is also tough and ductile. It can be shaped and machined, although it is important to use a slow cut with a hard tool to avoid work hardening, which can plastically deform the part or the tool in subsequent passes. It is best to use water-jet or laser machining, as these techniques can minimize the effects of work hardening. Inconel can also be cast, but this method is rarely used due to its higher cost.