Inconel is a family of austenitic Nickel-Chromium based alloys. Inconel chemical etching is a great process for harsh environments subjected to extreme pressures and temperatures.
It forms a thick and stable oxide layer that protects its surface from attack when it is heated. The alloy retains strength over a wide temperature range and exhibits high resistance to corrosion, oxidation, carburization, pitting, and cracking.
Common grades of acid-etched Inconel that Fotofab manufactures include:
- Inconel 600: Solid solution strengthened
- Inconel 718: Gamma double prime strengthened with good weldability
- Inconel X-750: Commonly used for gas turbine components including blades, seals, and rotors
Fotofab's chemical etching process produces designs that withstand harsh indoor and outdoor environments. The process uses an acid (Ferric Chloride) to etch the unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design or image formed to your project’s specifications.
Fotofab parts are made in the USA and distributed worldwide.
Characteristics of Inconel
Inconel is engineered to offer a superior combination of heat resistance, high-temperature corrosion resistance, toughness, and strength. Other valued characteristics include:
- Good acid resistance
- Forms a thick and stable oxide layer that protects its surface from further attack when heated
- Almost completely free from chloride-induced stress corrosion cracking
- Superior low- and high-temperature mechanical properties
- Pitting, crevice corrosion, and intercrystalline corrosion resistant
- Strong resistance to oxidation at elevated temperatures
Acid Etching for Inconel Etching Applications
With superior resistance to heat and corrosion, these alloys are regularly used in high-temperature applications for petrochemical, nuclear, aerospace, automotive, and marine industries, including:
- High-temperature fasteners
- Pressure vessels
- Heat exchanger tubing
- Turbocharger rotors
- Nuclear reactor components
- Inconel's high-temperature strength is developed by solid solution strengthening or precipitation strengthening, depending on the alloy
- The metal is difficult to shape and machine using traditional cold forming techniques due to rapid work hardening
- Inconel alloys vary widely in their compositions, but all are predominantly nickel with chromium as the second element
- The Inconel family of alloys was first developed in the 1940s by research teams at Wiggin Alloys
- Some Inconel alloys are difficult to weld due to cracking and microstructural segregation of alloying elements in the heat-affected zone