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
Nickel alloys are of particular interest to designers that use these materials due to 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 designers seek. 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 include:
- Telcoseal, a vacuum melted glass-to-metal sealing alloy
- 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.
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