Nickel Alloys Applications include wipers, brackets, tubing, springs, clamps, fasteners, sensors, gaskets, air bag assemblies, flanges, wheels, fuel tanks, and bus structurals/panels. Parts are made from austenitic stainless steels, which contain nickel, or ferritic stainless steels, with little or no nickel in less demanding applications. Some of these parts are made in stainless steel only for use in higher quality autos or where superior performance is desired.
This page contains information on nickel-containing alloys other than stainless steels. Click here for information on stainless steels.
Nickel-containing alloys are subdivided into various families, based on the other major alloying elements. In the automotive industry, these families include:
- Nickel-chromium and nickel-chromium-iron
- Nickel-containing alloy steels
- Nickel-copper and copper-nickel
- Nickel-aluminum (nickel aluminide)
Nickel-chromium alloys and nickel-chromium-iron alloys are employed in heating elements and exhaust components such as exhaust valves and diesel glow-plugs.
Nickel-containing cast irons and cast nickel alloys are used in turbocharger housings and manifolds.
Nickel-containing alloy steels are used sometimes in gears, drive shafts, special vehicles for low temperature and/or high wear uses. A typical alloy in this family is AISI 4340 with about 1.75% nickel.
Copper-nickel alloy tubing is used in some brake fluid lines.
Nickel-titanium alloys are used in shape-memory alloys for actuators and connectors.
Nickel-aluminum alloys are used in pistons and cylinder inserts.
Sometimes, nickel and nickel alloys are use in powder form and used, for example, in electronic shielding applications and batteries for hybrid electric vehicles.
Nickel alloy foam is proposed for reducing emissions.