Hi-temp metal materials come in a wide range of options. There are several popular alloys that are usually based on nickel, cobalt, or titanium. Likewise, some processes involving steel, niobium, tungsten, or molybdenum also work in specific applications. You may wonder if hi-temp metal is a good choice for a product or process, and you can tell by looking at these five signs.
Pressure and Friction
Some applications produce high levels of pressure and friction. Jet engines and gas turbines, for example, often generate levels of both pressure and friction that will quickly destroy everyday materials. Even if the system is pushing materials that are relatively smooth and frictionless, high speeds and temperatures can make the most innocuous materials dangerous. Water and air can become like cutting torches inside compressors, pumps, jets, nozzles, and generators.
Hi-temp metal also tends to perform well in environments where heat and corrosion combine to rapidly destroy materials. Many laboratories and manufacturing operations use vats of chemicals in their processes. As you heat these chemicals, almost any material prone to corrosion will break down. The effect quickly leads to burst pipes, leaking couplings, and damaged gauges.
At different temperatures, there are often cheap and effective solutions like plastics and ceramics. Once you heat some chemicals to certain temperatures, though, these products will fail catastrophically. For some applications, hi-temp metal materials may be the only viable option.
Many processes also require heat exchanges. Worse, these exchanges may be sensitive to interactions involving most metals or chemicals. To facilitate the process of heat exchange, you may need hi-temp metal to act as a go-between. The materials play nicely with others that don't react well to each other, and hi-temp metal makes the exchange possible.
Exhausts and Pollution-Control Processes
Exhaust systems in numerous vehicles, machines, and industrial processes need to handle high heat. Particularly if you need to also contain hot exhaust while you catalyze it for pollution-control purposes, you need a non-reactive material. Not only does the material have to perform well under extreme heat, but it has to handle many cycles of heating and cooling without failing.
The environment in nuclear laboratories and power plants is unlike anything most materials can withstand. Combining heat, moisture, radiation, and pressure produces multiple potential points of failure. To consistently contain these forces, many operations rely on hi-temp metal materials.
Contact a manufacturer to learn more.