|Nickel Iron alloys are a relatively new group of
materials to become available. Each alloy has very specific, often
unique, properties and the applications for these alloys are often at
the cutting-edge of technology. Of particular interest to designers that
use these materials are the thermal expansion and magnetic permeability
characteristics of these alloys.
Nickel Iron alloys have been developed over recent years to meet a
demand for materials used in specific high-technology applications.
Strength, corrosion resistance and conductivity are important factors
with these alloys but it is their thermal expansion and magnetic
permeability characteristics that are often the vital attributes that
High-tech industries such as automotive, medical,
power generation, aerospace, electronic and petro-chemical have
benefited from the development of this range, to name but a few.
At Smiths we carry a range of product in both round bar and strip form
that has proven to meet the need of the majority of our customer base.
For example, Radiometal 4550, is a 45% nickel alloy
that combines excellent permeability with high saturation flux density,
is frequently used in transformers, chokes and special motors where the
normal silicon-iron alloys do not provide the required magnetic
performance. This alloy is also the material of choice for the
manufacture of sensitive relays where response to very weak current is
of paramount importance.
Other Nickel Iron alloys available from Smiths
Telcoseal, a vacuum melted glass-to-metal sealing
Invar 36, developed specifically for applications
requiring extremely low thermal expansion characteristics such as
thermostats, pendulum rods, measuring tapes etc.
Mumetal, a 77% nickel-iron alloy, which is ideally
suited to use in the manufacture of high accuracy current transformers
and magnetic shielding.
In general these alloys are not difficult to machine
though it should be noted that they work harden readily. Care should
therefore be regarding such factors as tool geometry, feeds, speeds etc.
Further information regarding all of these alloys is
available on request.
Controlled manufacture and stocking are key parts of the supply of these
products. Smiths quality systems (including full barcode traceability)
play a vital role here.
Another of Smiths strengths is its ability to often
offer many of these products in small volumes from stock, something that
few other stockists are able to do.