Non Ferrous Alloys
Non ferrous alloys are metal alloys that consist of two or more metals
that are not ferrous metals, meaning that they are not metals formed
with an iron base. Iron is defined as a heavy, ductile and magnetic
metallic element that is an incredibly common alloying base used in a
variety of metal alloys, one of the most common being steel.
Although there is a wide range of non ferrous alloys, contributing to a lack of many shared characteristics amongst the diverse metals, there are a couple of common attributes including a complete lack of magnetism, versatility, high density, excellent tensile strength and high corrosion resistance. Some common types of non ferrous alloys include copper, nickel, cobalt, titanium, aluminum, zinc, zirconium, magnesium and tungsten. Since non ferrous alloys have many beneficial properties, including high melting points and being fairly light-weight metals, they are often used in a multitude of applications in industries including: automotive, for use in the production of power transmission parts such as wheels, brushes, radiators and more; aerospace, used for components including brazements, missile parts and gearboxes; industrial manufacturing, to construct various parts such as gears and valves by means of various heat treating processes; and marine, for use in construction of the structure of varied shipping vessels.
While there is a wide range of non ferrous alloys, there are those that are used more often than others. The most common types of non ferrous alloys used in industrial applications are copper alloys, nickel alloys and aluminum alloys. The two most common types of copper alloys are brass and bronze. Brass is composed of mainly copper and zinc, whereas bronze is composed of mainly copper and tin. Copper alloys are commonly used in the electronics industry due to their excellent electrical conductivity. There are many common types of nickel alloys, but the most common are Inconel and Monel. Inconel is a super alloy that exhibits exceptional heat-resistance and is mainly composed of nickel, chromium, molybdenum and niobium, with trace amounts of cobalt, manganese, copper, aluminum, titanium, silicone, carbon, sulfur, phosphorus and boron. Monel is the general name for a series of nickel alloys composed mainly of nickel, but also copper, iron and minute amounts of other elements. Monel is one of the more difficult non ferrous alloys to machine. When it comes to aluminum alloys, the most commonly used are aluminum 6061 and aluminum 7075. Aluminum 6061 is mainly composed of aluminum, magnesium and silicon, while aluminum 7075 is mainly composed of aluminum and zinc.