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Shane M. Fox By Shane M. Fox • January 20, 2018

How Inconel 718 is used in Aerospace

Teams often have to trade up on the excellent material properties (high temperature corrosion and creep resistance) to obtain specific geometries. Machining, forging and welding also require the material to be annealed to induce ductility and better deformability. Additive doesn't sacrifice Inconel 718 excellent mechanical properties.

Metal Additive Manufacturing makes Inconel 718's processing more convenient, straightforward and ensures material properties are well-preserved. Inconel 718 has demonstrated directional solidification, which has been shown to equate or exceed mechanical properties of cast and it's counterparts.

AM stimulates creativity to improve functionality

Additionally, AM brings aerospace engineers more design freedom to deal with complex issues. They can incorporate internal and external features simultaneously from the ground up, consolidate an assembly into fewer parts to reduce downstream operations and push light-weighting of parts to the limits by lattice-structuring design.

AM produces almost no material wastes of expensive super alloys

One of my favorite features of AM is the milling of aircraft parts, resulting in a high rate of recyclable waste. With AM processes, you build components with near-final contours, the process produces only about 5% waste, improving the "buy-to-fly" ratio of aerospace components and reducing CO2 emissions.