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1940s by research teams at Wiggin Alloys (Hereford,

England), which has since been acquired by SMC,[3] in
support of the development of the Whittle jet engine.

1 Composition
Dierent Inconels have widely varying compositions, but
all are predominantly nickel, with chromium as the sec-
ond element.

2 Properties
Inconel alloys are oxidation- and corrosion-resistant ma-
terials well suited for service in extreme environments
subjected to high pressure and kinetic energy. When
heated, Inconel forms a thick and stable passivating oxide
Inconel 718 round bar layer protecting the surface from further attack. Inconel
retains strength over a wide temperature range, attrac-
tive for high-temperature applications where aluminium
Inconel is a family of austenitic nickel-chromium-based and steel would succumb to creep as a result of thermally
superalloys.[1] The name is a trademark of Special Met- induced crystal vacancies (see Arrhenius equation). In-
als Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Precision conels high temperature strength is developed by solid
Castparts Corp. solution strengthening or precipitation strengthening, de-
Inconel alloys are oxidation and corrosion resistant mate- pending on the alloy. In age-hardening or precipitation-
rials well suited for service in extreme environments sub- strengthening varieties, small amounts of niobium com-
jected to pressure and heat. When heated, Inconel forms bine with nickel to form the intermetallic compound
a thick, stable, passivating oxide layer protecting the sur- Ni3 Nb or gamma prime ('). Gamma prime forms small
face from further attack. Inconel retains strength over a cubic crystals that inhibit slip and creep eectively at el-
wide temperature range, attractive for high temperature evated temperatures.[10] The formation of gamma-prime
applications where aluminum and steel would succumb crystals increases over time, especially after three hours
to creep as a result of thermally induced crystal vacan- of a heat exposure of 850 C, and continues to grow after
cies. Inconels high temperature strength is developed by 72 hours of exposure.[11]
solid solution strengthening or precipitation strengthen-
ing, depending on the alloy. In age hardening or precipi-
tation strengthening varieties, small amounts of niobium
combine with nickel to form the intermetallic compound
3 Machining
Ni3Nb or gamma prime (). Gamma prime forms small
cubic crystals that inhibit slip and creep eectively at el- Inconel is a dicult metal to shape and machine using
evated temperatures. traditional techniques due to rapid work hardening. Af-
ter the rst machining pass, work hardening tends to plas-
Inconel alloys are typically used in high temperature ap- tically deform either the workpiece or the tool on subse-
plications. It is sometimes referred to in English as Inco quent passes. For this reason, age-hardened Inconels such
(or occasionally "Iconel"). Common trade names for as 718 are machined using an aggressive but slow cut with
Inconel Alloy 625 include: Inconel 625, Chronin 625, a hard tool, minimizing the number of passes required.
Altemp 625, Haynes 625, Nickelvac 625 and Nicrofer Alternatively, the majority of the machining can be per-
6020.[2] formed with the workpiece in a solutionized form, with
The Inconel family of alloys was rst developed in the only the nal steps being performed after age hardening.


External threads are machined using a lathe to single- Rocketdyne used Inconel X-750 for the thrust cham-
point the threads. or by rolling the threads in the solution ber of the F-1 rocket engine used in the rst stage of
treated condition (for hardenable alloys) using a screw the Saturn V booster.[20]
machine. Inconel 718 can also be roll-threaded after full
SpaceX uses inconel in the engine manifold of their
aging by using induction heat to 1300F without increas-
Merlin rocket engine which powers the Falcon 9
ing the grain size. Holes with internal threads are made by
launch vehicle.[21]
threadmilling. Internal threads can also be formed using
a sinker EDM (electrical discharge machining). In a rst for 3D printing, the SpaceX SuperDraco
Cutting of a plate is often done with a waterjet cutter. engine that provides launch escape system and
New whisker-reinforced ceramic cutters are also used to propulsive-landing thrust for the Dragon V2 crew-
machine nickel alloys. They remove material at a rate typ- carrying space capsule is fully printed, the rst fully
ically eight times faster than carbide cutters. Apart from printed rocket engine. In particular, the engine com-
these methods, Inconel parts can also be manufactured by bustion chamber is printed of Inconel using a pro-
selective laser melting. cess of direct metal laser sintering, and operates at
a chamber pressure of 6,900 kilopascals (1,000 psi)
at a very high temperature.
4 Joining Rolled Inconel was frequently used as the record-
ing medium by engraving in black box recorders on
Welding of some Inconel alloys (especially the gamma aircraft.[22]
prime precipitation hardened family, i.e., Waspalloy, X- Alternatives to the use of Inconel in chemical applica-
750) can be dicult due to cracking and microstructural tions such as scrubbers, columns, reactors, and pipes are
segregation of alloying elements in the heat-aected zone. Hastelloy, peruoroalkoxy (PFA) lined carbon steel or
However, several alloys such as 625 and 718 have been ber reinforced plastic.
designed to overcome these problems. The most com-
mon welding methods are gas tungsten arc welding and
electron beam welding.[12]
6 Inconel alloys
Innovations in pulsed micro laser welding have also be-
come more popular in recent years for specic applica- Inconel 600: Solid solution strengthened
Inconel 625: Acid resistant, good weldability. The
LCF version is typically used in bellows.
5 Uses Inconel 690: Low cobalt content for nuclear appli-
cations, and low resistivity[23]
Inconel is often encountered in extreme environments. Inconel 713: Newly developed alloy
It is common in gas turbine blades, seals, and com-
bustors, as well as turbocharger rotors and seals, elec- Inconel 718: Gamma double prime strengthened
tric submersible well pump motor shafts, high temper- with good weldability
ature fasteners, chemical processing and pressure ves- Inconel 751: Increased aluminium content for im-
sels, heat exchanger tubing, steam generators in nuclear proved rupture strength in the 1600 F range[24]
pressurized water reactors, natural gas processing with
contaminants such as H2 S and CO2 , rearm sound sup- Inconel 792: Increased aluminium content for im-
pressor blast baes, and Formula One, NASCAR and proved high temperature corrosion properties, used
APR, LLC exhaust systems.[13][14] It is also used in the especially in gas turbines
turbo system of the 3rd generation Mazda RX7, and the Inconel 939: Gamma prime strengthened to in-
exhaust systems of high powered rotary engined Nor- crease weldability
ton motorcycles where exhaust temperatures reach more
than 1,000 degrees C.[15] Inconel is increasingly used in
the boilers of waste incinerators.[16] The Joint European
Torus and DIII-D tokamaks vacuum vessels are made in
7 See also
Inconel.[17] Inconel 718 is commonly used for cryogenic
storage tanks, downhole shafts and wellhead parts.[18] Incoloy

Several applications of inconel in aerospace include: Monel

North American Aviation constructed the skin of the
X-15 rocket plane out of an Inconel alloy known as
Inconel X.[19] Stellite

8 References
[1] High-Performance Alloys. Special Metals Corporation.
Retrieved 2010-04-26.

[2] Special Alloys: Inconel 625. Retrieved 2010-04-26.

[3] Special Metals Corporation: History. Retrieved 2012-


[4] INCONEL alloy 600, Special Metals Corporation

[5], High Temp Metals

[6] INCONEL alloy 625, Special Metals Corporation

[7] Stress Corrosion Cracking of Alloy 600 and Alloy 690 in

Hydrogen/Steam at 380C. G. Sui, J. Titchmarsh, G. Heys,
J. Congleton. Corrosion Science, Vol 39, No. 3, pp 565-
587, 1997

[8] INCONEL alloy 718, Special Metals Corporation

[9] INCONEL alloy X-750, Special Metals Corporation

[10] ,

[11] , University of Cambridge: Dissemination of IT for the

Promotion of Materials Science (DoITPoMS).

[12] Joining, retrieved 2009-10-09.

[13] Power Generation, Special Metals Corporation.

[14] Chemical Processing, Special Metals Corporation.

[15] Motorcycle Trader.Norton Rotary Revival.Cathcart.Dec


[16] Inconell - state-of-the-art corrosion protection by Bab-

cock & Wilcox Vlund, 2003

[17] The Inconel JET vessel in use since 1983. A simple,

sturdy structure.

[18] Inconel Alloy, Inconel 718.

[19] Robert S. Houston, Richard P. Hallion, and Ronald G.

Boston, EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION, Transiting from
Air to Space: The North American X-15, The Hyper-
sonic Revolution: Case Studies in the History of Hypersonic
Technology, Air Force History and Museums Program,

[20] Anthony Young, The Saturn V Booster: Powering Apollo

into History, Springer-Verlag, 2009.

[21] SpaceX Falcon 9. Space Launch Report. Retrieved



[23] INCONEL alloy 690, NDT Resource Center

[24] INCONEL alloy 751, Special Metals Corporation


9 Text and image sources, contributors, and licenses

9.1 Text
Inconel Source: Contributors: Bryan Derksen, Maury Markowitz, Ellywa, CW,
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scot, GurchBot, Exerda, Dulciana, Ben Ram, ChemNerd, LurkingInChicago, J40bigz, Bclough, Quadibloc, VolkovBot, Andy Dingley,
SieBot, Tiptoety, A. Carty, CultureDrone, PixelBot, Shinkolobwe, Gzimm21575, Addbot, Mortense, AtlantisEndevour, Allyourbases,
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9.2 Images
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