Technology is constantly changing and the processes to support these advances are always fluctuating. But one thing that has remained constant is the crucial part alloys play in the forging world. Alloys are the basic raw ingredient to your custom piece.
They set the project up for success or failure. They are chosen with precision or with ignorance. And the alloy you choose for your project, greatly depends on the chief function you are performing with your custom piece.
1) How important is the alloy’s strength?
Sometimes a piece needs strength and durability before all else.
When weight isn’t a chief concern, and electric conductivity is only mildly important, Copper Nickel is likely the best choice. A class 3 alloy, C18000 is 98% copper and about 2% nickel creating exceptional durability. This alloy’s strength makes it a common alloy for weld wheels and backing plates in the electronic industry.
We Recommend: C18000 (Copper Nickel)
2) How important is the alloy’s porosity?
Working in the aerospace industry? A leaky cast alloy is the difference between a catastrophic headline or a rocket launch success story.
If you’re looking for an alloy that won’t leak with absolutely zero porosity for a light-weight aircraft application, choose forged Aluminum. If you’re looking for an alloy that won’t leak with absolute zero porosity and excellent thermal conductivity for high-temperature rocket engine components, choose forged copper. Because the alloy is forged, you can be certain that your piece won’t fail due to leakage causing a failed launch.
We Recommend: A96061 (Aluminum alloy) for lightweight aircraft applications
We Recommend: C18150 (Copper alloy) for rocket engine componentry applications
3) How important is the alloy’s conductivity?
Looking for an alloy that efficiently conducts electricity or heat?
The best choices for electrical conductivity are Pure Copper (C10100) or an Oxygen-Free Copper (OFC) such as C10700 (with Silver) or C10800 (with slight Phosphorus). These alloys conduct electricity exceptionally although they lack the strength some pieces demand.
If you’re looking to efficiently dissipate heat while maintaining moderate strength, Copper-Chrome-Zirconium (C18150) is a good choice. Over the past decade, we’ve seen a huge uptick in C18150 for major players within the Rocket industry that need good thermal conductivity, and more strength than Pure Copper has to offer.
We Recommend: C10100 or C10700 or C10800 for good electrical conductivity
We Recommend: C18150 for good thermal conductivity and heat dissipation where moderate strength is needed
4) How important is the alloy’s price?
Dealing with slim margins?
If you’re looking for a cheap conduit, Naval Brass (46400) is a perfect fit. While this alloy is not heat treatable and may lack a certain amount of strength, it is highly affordable and does a decent job conducting electricity.
We Recommend: 46400 (Naval Brass)
Decades of experience have taught us the importance of selecting the perfect alloy for your custom piece. Looking for a full list of our alloys? Check out Weldaloy’s full list of materials here.