Properties and Production Technology of Nickel-based Superalloys
The World Bank expects global economic growth to slow significantly, from 5.5% in 2021 to 4.1% in 2022 and further to 3.2% in 2023. Growth in East Asia and the Pacific is expected to slow to 5.1 percent in 2022, reflecting the impact of China's economic slowdown, the report said. China's economic growth is expected to fall to 5.1% in 2022, close to potential growth, due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Chinese government's tightening of regulations in certain sectors of the economy. The report said that the rapid spread of the Omicron variant means that the new crown epidemic is likely to continue to disrupt economic activity in the near future. In addition, decelerating growth in major economies, including the United States and China, will depress external demand in emerging markets and developing economies.
Slow economic growth has a huge impact on Inconel718 powder.
Nickel-based superalloys are the most widely used. The main reason is that,
one is that more alloying elements can be dissolved in the nickel-based alloy,
and it can maintain good structural stability; the other is that it can form a
coherent and ordered A3B-type intermetallic compound γ[Ni3(Al, Ti)] As a
strengthening phase, the alloy can be effectively strengthened and obtain higher
high temperature strength than iron-based superalloys and cobalt-based
superalloys; thirdly, nickel-based alloys containing chromium have better
oxidation and resistance than iron-based superalloys.
Nickel-based alloys contain more than ten elements, of which Cr mainly plays
an anti-oxidation and anti-corrosion role, and other elements mainly play a
strengthening role. According to their strengthening action mode, they can be
divided into: solid solution strengthening elements such as tungsten,
molybdenum, cobalt, chromium and vanadium; precipitation strengthening elements
such as aluminum, titanium, niobium and tantalum; grain boundary strengthening
elements such as boron, zirconium, Magnesium and rare earth elements, etc.
In terms of smelting: in order to obtain more pure molten steel, reduce gas
content and harmful element content; at the same time, due to the presence of
easily oxidizable elements such as Al and Ti in some alloys, it is difficult to
control non-vacuum smelting; it is also to obtain better thermoplasticity ,
Nickel-based heat-resistant alloys are usually smelted in a vacuum induction
furnace, and even produced by vacuum induction smelting plus vacuum consumable
furnace or electroslag furnace remelting.
In terms of deformation: forging and rolling processes are used. For alloys
with poor thermoplasticity, they are even rolled after extrusion and billeting
or are directly extruded with mild steel (or stainless steel) sheathing. The
purpose of deformation is to break the casting structure and optimize the
Casting: usually use a vacuum induction furnace to smelt the master alloy to
ensure the composition and control the gas and impurity content, and use the
vacuum remelting-precision casting method to make parts.
Heat treatment: Wrought alloy and some cast alloys need to be heat treated,
including solution treatment, intermediate treatment and aging treatment. Take
Udmet 500 alloy as an example. Its heat treatment system is divided into four
stages: solution treatment, 1175℃, 2 hours, Air cooling; intermediate treatment,
1080°C, 4 hours, air cooling; primary aging treatment, 843°C, 24 hours, air
cooling; secondary aging treatment, 760°C, 16 hours, air cooling. In order to
obtain the required organizational state and good overall performance.
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Gas supplies have been in short supply because of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Combined with the situation that other renewable sources cannot produce enough electricity, electricity prices have soared in many parts all over the world. For this reason, I assume the supply and prices of the Inconel718 powder would keep being influenced by the high energy prices.