Hydroforming Inconel

A high strength, corrosion resistant option

hydroforming | December 27, 2019 |

Strong. Durable. Corrosion resistant. Across varying industries, when applications need to hold up to extreme conditions, Inconel is very often the ideal choice. In fact, hydroformed Inconel is one of the world’s most durable metal products, even for complex parts.

At Jones Metal, we have decades of experience working with Inconel sheet metal. While specific application and industry use cases vary, there are some fundamental things to know when considering Inconel.  

What is Inconel? What applications are right for Inconel?

Inconel is primarily a nickel-chromium alloy that combines corrosion resistance with incredible physical strength. In most cases, it’s used for manufacturing parts that must withstand tough conditions, being even stronger and more resistant than stainless steel. It has three primary applications:

  1. High temperature resistance - Inconel can handle high temperatures while retaining its shape and tensile strength.
  2. Withstands rapid temperature change - Inconel can tolerate rapid switches from extremely cold to extremely hot conditions, without incurring oxidation or other damaging processes.
  3. Endures saltwater exposure - Inconel can resist exposure to saltwater (sodium chloride) across various temperatures, making it a great choice for applications ranging from marine through industrial (where processes may involve sodium chloride in solution).

Not only does Inconel tolerate extreme conditions, but it can also accommodate various manufacturing processes.

Can you hydroform Inconel?

The short answer is yes—and we do every day! 

Because Inconel’s strength makes traditional cold forming methods nearly impossible to successfully employ, hydroforming is the go-to solution for working with Inconel.  A metal fabrication process that can be used to generate special or complex shapes in even the strongest metals, hydroforming offers the ability to form complex shapes and angles, all with minimal "thin-out" so that precise tolerances can be maintained. Inconel can be a bit more expensive than other alloys, which is why a cost-effective method like hydroforming is a great way to obtain desired outcomes without compromising on quality.

Hydroforming is a Jones Metal specialty, and we leverage our expertise every day to ensure that you get the results you need, regardless of the metal material used. We also offer finishing steps, like annealing, hardening, solution treating, stress relieving and tempering to ensure additional resilience to hydroformed Inconel components. 

Our experience across industries ranging from aerospace to power generation, commercial lighting to medical means that we can give you expert advice on how to handle your metal fabrication needs. Our in-house team can work closely with you to design your project and fabricate your metal parts with rapid turnaround times.

Contact JMP online or by phone to speak with an expert about using Inconel in your next order. Send your drawings and specifications to Jones Metal or call 888-868-6535 to speak with an expert.

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