Making the grade

News and developments in the world of corrosion resistant alloys through the eyes of Corrotherm International

MONEL alloys in the Aerospace Industry

19 May 2021

MONEL alloys in the Aerospace Industry
The aerospace industry relies on high-performance materials that can withstand intense environments of both heat and pressure. The MONEL range of nickel alloys is up to the job, as well as being a cost-effective option.

Corrotherm stocks a range of nickel alloys that are used in the aerospace industry. This important environment requires the use of materials that are high quality, practical and affordable. However, the key concern for use in aerospace is longevity and resistance to corrosive environments.

MONEL alloys are often used in aerospace. This range of nickel alloys is created with both nickel and copper, with significant other additions to give them specific properties. MONEL alloys have been around since the 1900s and over the decades they have become a standard material of use for design engineers across a range of applications.

In the 1960s, MONEL alloys were often used in making the frames and skins of experimental rockets planes. This was due to their resistance to aerodynamic friction caused by high-speed flight. It has many more conventional uses too.

Properties and applications

MONEL alloys have a few essential benefits that make them suitable for use in the aerospace industry. First, they exhibit good resistance to many different types of corrosion. MONEL alloys, which have an average copper inclusion of 30%, are more resistant to attack by oxidising media than alloys with a higher amount of copper present. The alloys are also resistant to reducing media and stress corrosion cracking. The corrosion-resistant properties make MONEL alloys particularly suited to exhaust manifold and carburettors in aerospace projects.

Another useful aspect of the MONEL nickel alloy range is its strength. The solid solution alloys can be hardened by cold working. They can also retain their shape and strength in high temperatures, which makes them perfect for aircraft frame structures, for example.

Typical applications in the aerospace industry include components for the landing gear, such as gears and chains, as well as various tubes and pipes. MONE alloys can also be used in combustion chambers, due to their ability to perform in high temperatures and under pressure. MONEL alloys can also be used for rivets in the engine and exhaust systems, as well as for reliable safety wiring.

Key MONEL alloys

Corrotherm supplies two key MONEL alloys: MONEL alloy 400 and MONEL alloy K-500.

MONEL alloys 400 has a minimum of 63% nickel and 28-34% copper, with the significant addition of iron. It offers high strength and toughness across a wide range of temperature ranges. This is good for the aerospace industry, where operating temperatures can be extreme. Its resistance to atmospheric corrosion means that MONEL alloy 400 is used to construct rivets in aluminium-skinned aircraft.

MONEL alloy K-500 is a precipitation-strengthened version of MONEL alloy 400, with titanium and aluminium added during the melting of the basic alloy mix. It offers increased strength and toughness over MONEL alloy 400, making it useful for high-pressure situations. It retains roughly the same corrosion-resistant properties.

Find out more about the MONEL alloys that Corrotherm stocks and find out more about using them in your next aerospace project by contacting us today.

Published in Nickel Alloys