Waspaloy is a nickel-based superalloy used in very extreme environments. This metal is often used in applications involving very high temperatures, like in gas turbines. Waspaloy is nominally composed of Nickel 58%, chromium 19%, cobalt 13%, molybdenum 4%, titanium 3%, and aluminum 1.4%.
This superalloy maintains amazing strength even in temperatures of up to 980°C (1800°F). It offers good resistance to corrosion while also being highly resistant (even impervious) to oxidation. These attributes make Waspaloy ideal for use in extreme environments, like in the airplane industry. This superalloy maintains utility and strength in temperatures up to 760-870°C (1400-1600°F), and it also offers good resistance to oxidation when used in gas turbine engines, which can heat up to 870°C (1600°F). Waspaloy is also resistant to cracking from stress corrosion and heat damage from hot corrosion.
The extreme environments in which Waspaloy is commonly used include gas turbine engine parts, like blades, seals, rings, shafts, fasteners, and turbine disks. The materials used in standard X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy are also made from Waspaloy.
Welding with Waspaloy can be challenging, and it works best when the metal is in a solution annealed condition. A rapid cooling treatment in a solution is advised after welding with this superalloy to minimize the chance of aging stresses on the metal.
Waspaloy was used in the late 1950s in the development of a supersonic strike plane, The British Aircraft Corporation TSR-2. The fairing to the rear fuselage surrounding the exhaust nozzles of the plane were made of unpainted Waspaloy, due to its high heat resistance. Though the fabrication of the pieces from the alloy were said to be challenging due to the metal’s “intractability,” the plane was put together successfully thanks to the strength of Waspaloy.
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