Properties and Production Technology of Nickel-based Superalloys
As the world deals with potential supply shortages, oil prices are soaring again, with more dramatic spikes and sudden drops expected.
For consumers, that means more expensive gas for longer - prices at the pump remain above $4 a gallon. For the economy, that means more inflation. In addition to the pressure on consumers, any business that relies on oil -- from airlines and truck drivers to chemical companies and plastics producers -- will face higher costs.
Mr Pickering estimates that 2m to 3m barrels a day of Russian oil shipped by water are frozen out of the market with no direct buyers. Due to the soaring oil price, the price of the Inconel718 powder in the chemical industry will also be greatly affected. He said China and India are continuing to buy Russian crude. "I'm sure there will be others willing to take on more over time," he said. Mr Pickering said he did not expect oil to return to $130 a barrel, but added that it could happen. Francisco Branch, head of commodities and derivatives at Bank of America, said the US market was ready for cyclical price spikes and price swings in the Inconel718 powder.
Nickel-based superalloys are the most widely used. The main reason is that,
one is that more alloying elements can be dissolved in the nickel-based alloy,
and it can maintain good structural stability; the other is that it can form a
coherent and ordered A3B-type intermetallic compound γ[Ni3(Al, Ti)] As a
strengthening phase, the alloy can be effectively strengthened and obtain higher
high temperature strength than iron-based superalloys and cobalt-based
superalloys; thirdly, nickel-based alloys containing chromium have better
oxidation and resistance than iron-based superalloys.
Nickel-based alloys contain more than ten elements, of which Cr mainly plays
an anti-oxidation and anti-corrosion role, and other elements mainly play a
strengthening role. According to their strengthening action mode, they can be
divided into: solid solution strengthening elements such as tungsten,
molybdenum, cobalt, chromium and vanadium; precipitation strengthening elements
such as aluminum, titanium, niobium and tantalum; grain boundary strengthening
elements such as boron, zirconium, Magnesium and rare earth elements, etc.
In terms of smelting: in order to obtain more pure molten steel, reduce gas
content and harmful element content; at the same time, due to the presence of
easily oxidizable elements such as Al and Ti in some alloys, it is difficult to
control non-vacuum smelting; it is also to obtain better thermoplasticity ,
Nickel-based heat-resistant alloys are usually smelted in a vacuum induction
furnace, and even produced by vacuum induction smelting plus vacuum consumable
furnace or electroslag furnace remelting.
In terms of deformation: forging and rolling processes are used. For alloys
with poor thermoplasticity, they are even rolled after extrusion and billeting
or are directly extruded with mild steel (or stainless steel) sheathing. The
purpose of deformation is to break the casting structure and optimize the
Casting: usually use a vacuum induction furnace to smelt the master alloy to
ensure the composition and control the gas and impurity content, and use the
vacuum remelting-precision casting method to make parts.
Heat treatment: Wrought alloy and some cast alloys need to be heat treated,
including solution treatment, intermediate treatment and aging treatment. Take
Udmet 500 alloy as an example. Its heat treatment system is divided into four
stages: solution treatment, 1175℃, 2 hours, Air cooling; intermediate treatment,
1080°C, 4 hours, air cooling; primary aging treatment, 843°C, 24 hours, air
cooling; secondary aging treatment, 760°C, 16 hours, air cooling. In order to
obtain the required organizational state and good overall performance.
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Europe has been facing the gas shortage problem since the second half of 2021. The worsening situation in Russia and Ukraine has reduced Russian gas shipments to Europe, leading to a doubling of European gas prices. Energy shortages have sent electricity prices soaring. For these reasons, it is predicted that the price of the Inconel718 powder will continue to increase.