Inconel Chemical Etching
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
Inconel Chemical Etching
Fotofab’s etching process produces designs that can withstand harsh indoor and outdoor environments. The process uses a strong caustic chemical to etch into unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design or image formed to your project’s specifications.
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
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Acid Etching of 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