Materials selection for any piece of equipment or a process system is rarely a simple task, unless you are exactly replicating something successful. Often engineers will have a checklist to help them narrow down the choices, eliminating groups of materials that are not suitable for various reasons. Austenitic 300 series stainless steels containing 7-35% nickel will have most if not all of the boxes checked for being suitable where a stainless steel is desired.
Each family of stainless steels has its strengths and weaknesses. Ferritic stainless steels have useful properties – a lower rate of thermal expansion, higher thermal conductivity, strong ferromagnetism and very high resistance to chloride stress corrosion cracking (SCC). When looking at selecting any alloys, it is important to consider all the factors for successful usage.
The duplex alloys are “problem-solving alloys” for good reason, they have been successfully used in many places where carbon steels and standard austenitic alloys have failed. Just like with the austenitic family, there are many different duplex alloys to choose from, with corrosion resistance varying from moderate with the lean duplex alloys to very high with the superduplex alloys.
The selection of an alloy should be guided by careful examination of the needs of the application. Before making a switch, it’s important to fully investigate an alloy’s strengths, weaknesses and applicability to your structure.
Even small quantities of nickel in an application can make a big difference to successful deployment.
Geothermal energy for electric power production has a low profile yet is significant in the current and potential energy mix for a number of countries. It has also been described as the most reliable of the renewable energy sources, above weather-dependent wind, solar and hydropower.
The upstream and midstream oil and gas industries rely on nickel-containing corrosion resistant alloys for flowlines and risers. Rodrigo Signorelli, Outokumpu’s lead technical manager for marine and energy, explains how alloys reach the market.
A new generation of designers, materials specifiers, architects and engineers is being introduced to the wealth of technical information curated by the Nickel Institute. An archive of technical guides and know-how for working with nickel-containing materials, including stainless steel, that has been built over thirty years is now being updated and made freely available.
If you’re like me and predictive text has led to some awkward if not amusing moments, you might be sceptical about Artificial Intelligence (AI). But its achievements are already overwhelming and changing, even protecting, our lives in many sectors.
New advances in the use of Artificial Intelligence have the potential to speed up the process of alloy development.
When Courtney Love wrote this she was not thinking about rockets. It is, however, a perfect description of the history of rocketry. Until the Elon Musk revolution.
Space is hard but nickel makes it possible. The United States of America, through the private company SpaceX, imminently expects to regain its independent way into space.
Ever-tightening sulphur oxide (SOx) emission regulations are increasing the use of marine scrubbers globally. Scrubbers operate in a highly corrosive environment and require the resilience of nickel-containing alloys to prevent failure.
Most nickel production is destined for stainless steel. But a significant 8% is used in the production of alloy steels which are needed to deliver specific characteristics for specialised and often critical applications.