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Plating on Inconel
(Nickel Chrome Super Alloy)

Inconel is considered a “super alloy”, putting it in a group of nickel, carbon, and iron based alloys that are considered the highest performing alloys in the manufacturing and materials industries 

One of the most notable features of Inconel is its corrosion and oxidation resistance. This superior resistance causes Inconel to be used in industries with rigorous or unexpected harsh conditions

On top of this Inconel also has a stronger resistance to higher temperatures than pure nickel or chrome. This is due to the nickel’s ability to form a thick, protective, oxide surface layer when heated past a certain degree.

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Common Inconel finishes include:

Combining a superalloy like Inconel with a proper surface finish can provide it with a wide range of new physical and chemical qualities. While superalloys may be designed to be superior in strength and performance, they can still benefit greatly from different surface finishes. Some common surface finishing options for Inconel include:

  • Nickel 
  • Nickel (as a base layer)
  • Gold 
  • Silver

Benefits of Plating Inconel

Superalloys alone possess great strength and chemical resistance; however, they are not perfect. Like any other metal alloy, Inconel is susceptible to corrosion from exposure to certain environments. This is where choosing the appropriate surface finish is crucial. Some benefits of plating on Inconel Alloys include:

  • Increased Corrosion Resistance 
  • Improved Conductivity
  • Reduce Component Maintenance 
  • Provides a smooth, long-lasting, Aesthetically Pleasing Finish
  • And many more!

Frequently Asked Questions

About

First developed in 1932, Inconel alloys combine Nickel and Chrome alloys to create an even stronger, corrosion resistant material that has been utilized across several manufacturing industries. While it is mainly considered to be made of nickel and chrome, depending on the alloy, Inconel can also contain molybdenum, aluminum, and titanium. 

Inconel is considered a “super alloy”, putting it in a group of nickel, carbon, and iron based alloys that are considered the highest performing alloys in the manufacturing and materials industries

One of the most notable features of Inconel is its corrosion and oxidation resistance. This superior resistance causes Inconel to be used in industries with rigorous or unexpected harsh conditions

On top of this Inconel also has a stronger resistance to higher temperatures than pure nickel or chrome. This is due to the nickel’s ability to form a thick, protective, oxide surface layer when heated past a certain degree.

What are Superalloys?
Inconel alloys are incredibly unique materials that belong to a larger family of man-made compositions called “Superalloys.” Like the name says, Superalloys are a sub-group of alloys that are designed to be incredibly strong, along with an abundance of other desirable physical and chemical properties. Superalloys are typically nickel-based, but cobalt-based and iron-based superalloys also exist. 

In the case of Inconel, this superalloy family developed to be a high-performing manufacturing metal alloy that is resistant to corrosion and oxidation, as well as high thermal environments. Due to Inconel’s ability to simultaneously cool itself and create protect itself from corrosion when heated, the superalloy often finds itself utilized in jet engines, exhaust pipes, and other high-temperature components.
Why Plate Superalloys?

You may be thinking, “if super alloys were engineered to be chemically and physically stronger than normal alloys, why should I plate my superalloy components?” And while the first half of that statement is true, superalloys are much stronger than their normal counter parts, they are still susceptible to corrosion, wear, and abrasion damage.

Finding the right surface finish or electroplating solution for your superalloy substrates and components is essential to improving their functionality. Luckily AOTCO has 50 years of experience and a dedicated team of platers and engineers ready to find your superalloy surface finishing solution. 

Common Industry Applications for Inconel Substrates
Inconel Alloys are highly resistant to the corrosion that comes with prolonged exposure to salt water or other aqueous environments. On top of this Inconel also has the incredible ability to perform in high temperature environments for long periods of time. This makes Inconel a good component material when manufacturing for aquatic machinery or high temperature/pressure environments. Some common industry applications of Inconel alloys include:
  • Aqueous Components 
  • Hydrocarbon Processors 
  • Propeller Shafts
  • Valves
  • And many more!
For more information about plating on Inconel and other metal finishes, including Military Specs, AMS Specs and ASTM Specs, visit AOTCO Military Plating Specs page.
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