Exotic alloys – Lee Spring explain what they are and when to use them
17 December 2019
Materials with high alloy content, known as super alloys or exotic alloys, offer enhanced performance properties including excellent strength and durability, and resistance to oxidation, corrosion and deforming at high temperatures or under extreme pressure.
Because of these properties, super alloys make the best spring materials for demanding working conditions, which can be encountered across various industry sectors, including the Automotive, Marine and Aerospace sectors as well as oil and gas extraction, thermal processing, petrochemical processing and power generation.
Super alloy springs can be used in a number of severe conditions including extreme high or low temperatures, great pressure and facing outdoor conditions, including extreme weather. Springs not made from super alloys, if used in these circumstances, are at risk of becoming deformed or damaged, as they will not be strong enough to withstand heavy impact or harsh conditions.
“The reliability of the finished product in its application hinges on the correct material selection to meet the specific application requirements” says Darren Eyre, Technical Specialist at Lee Spring. “Stainless steel, for example, is tough and corrosion resistant, but it does not offer the properties that are required in order to withstand extreme heat, so is likely to distort when exposed to high temperatures. It is essential to clearly understand the environment that the spring is likely to be used in.”
“Springs required to operate in harsh environments could mean anything from underwater, contending with corrosion from saltwater, or contact with ‘sour’ gas from drilling down under the sea bed, to 35,000 feet up in the air battling low temperatures and high wind speeds” says Barry Steele, Applications Engineer at Lee Spring. “Offshore applications require equipment that is capable of ‘braving the elements’, and some manufacturing or furnace applications involve extreme high or low temperatures. Some applications will involve the equipment being subjected to highly corrosive substances.”
Read the full article in the January 2020 issue of DPA.
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