Nickel Based Alloys: Everything you need to know

Nickel-based alloys are materials that are composed mainly of nickel and some other alloys. Ni-based alloys are known for their excellent corrosion resistance and strength. They are often found in high-temperature environments due to their superior resistance to heat. However, material properties of nickel-based alloys can be improved even more by applying BoroCoat®, resulting in a much longer durability of materials.

About Nickel-based Alloys

Nickel-based alloys are also referred to as ni-based superalloys due to their outstanding strength, heat resistance and corrosion resistance. The face-centered crystal structure is a distinctive feature of ni-based alloys, since nickel operates as a stabilizer for the austenite.

Common additional chemical elements to nickel-based alloys are chromium, cobalt, molybdenum, iron and tungsten.

Inconel® and Hastelloy® Nickel-based Alloys

Two of the most established nickel-based alloys families are Inconel® and Hastelloy®. Other notable manufacturers are Waspaloy®, Allvac® and General Electric®.

The most common Inconel® nickel-based alloys are:

  • Inconel® 600, 2.4816 (72% Ni, 14-17% Cr, 6-10% Fe, 1% Mn, 0.5%Cu): A nickel-chrome-iron alloy that displays excellent stability on a broad temperature scale. Stable against chlorine and chlorine water.
  • Inconel® 617, 2.4663 (Nickel balance, 20-23% Cr, 2% Fe, 10-13%Co, 8-10% Mo, 1.5% Al, 0.7% Mn, 0.7 % Si): This alloy made largely of nickel, chrome, cobalt and molybdenum displays high strength and heat resistance.
  • Inconel® 718 2.4668 (50-55% Ni, 17-21% Cr, iron balance, 4.75-5.5% Nb, 2.8-3.3% Mo, 1%Co, ): A hardenable nickel-chrome-iron-molybdenum alloy that is known for its good workability and excellent mechanical properties at low temperatures.

Hastelloy® nickel-based alloys are known for their resistance against acids. The most common ones are:

  • Hastelloy® C-4, 2.4610 (Nickel balance, 14.5 – 17.5% Cr, 0 – 2% Co, 14 – 17% Mo, 0 – 3% Fe, 0 – 1% Mn): C-4 is a nickel-chrome-molybdenum alloy that is applied in environments with inorganic acids.
  • Hastelloy® C-22, 2.4602 (Nickel balance, 20 -22.5% Cr, 0 – 2.5% Co, 12.5 – 14.5% Mo, 0 – 3% Fe, 0-0.5% Mn, 2.5 -3.5 W): C-22 is a corrosion-resistant nickel-chrome-molybdenum-tungsten alloy that displays good persistence against acids.
  • Hastelloy® C-2000, 2.4675 (Nickel balance, 23% Cr, 2% Co, 16% Mo, 3% Fe): C-2000 is used in environments with aggressive oxidants, such as sulfuric acid and ferric chloride.

Improving durability of nickel-based work pieces

Nickel-based alloys are known for their excellent mechanical properties, such as corrosion resistance and high temperature stability. However, almost no work piece can last forever, no matter how splendid the material. To prolong lifespan of parts, nickel based alloys can be treated with BoroCoat®, our diffusion treatment to significantly improve corrosion and wear resistance as well as provide stability against oxidants.

The diffusion layers of BoroCoat® improve surface hardness to up to 2600 HV while maintaining a diffusion layer of 60 µm. The wear resistance is considerably improved, as is proven by the pin on disc test. While the wear depth of untreated nickel-based alloys increases the longer the pin rotates, ni-based alloys with BoroCoat® display consistent low wear depth throughout the test.

Areas of Application

Alloys with a nickel basis are often used in challenging environments that demand good resistance against high and low temperatures, oxidation/corrosion and high strength. This is why applications include but are not limited to: turbine engineering, power plant technology, chemical industry, aerospace engineering and valves/fittings.