The Advantages of Exotic Metal Fasteners And Components
As a manufacturing professional, you understand that some environments are just too harsh for a standard fastener or component. If you do nothing, it just gets worse—headaches from strength failure, corrosion resistance, and heat tolerance just stack up. So, what do you do?
Well, exotic metal fasteners and components offer enhanced performance capabilities, including superior strength, excellent corrosion resistance, and higher heat tolerance resulting in durability, safety, and value.
In exotic metals, you have a host of alloy options that beat out the more traditional materials used for fasteners and components.
Table of Contents
What are exotic metals?
Exotic materials are high-performance alloys of stainless steel, aluminum, nickel, titanium, magnesium, and copper. They are typically an exotic alloy or have exotic elements.
What makes exotic metals stronger?
When it comes to strength, exotic metal fasteners and components are up to 35% stronger than your average steel materials.
So, what makes them so strong? It all goes back to the chemical properties of the material. Typically, exotic metals are composed of either a single element or a tightly controlling mixture of two or three elements that refine the properties of each metal, making them considerably stronger than other metals on the market.
For example, 17-4 PH is a steel alloy commonly used in exotic metal fasteners and components. It’s made up of:
- Chromium: 16.0 – 18.0%
- Nickel: 6.50 – 7.75%
- Aluminum: 0.75 – 1.50%
- Manganese: <1.00%
- Silicon: <1.00%
- Carbon: <0.09%
- Phosphorus: <0.04%
- Sulfur: <0.03%
- Iron: trace amount
As a result, exotic metal fasteners can be desirable when strength is the most critical design parameter.
What makes exotic metals heat tolerant?
In addition to being strong, exotic metal fasteners and components are also heat tolerant. Exotic metals can stand up to temperatures 600 degrees Fahrenheit or higher than your average alloy’s 200-degree limit—so they won’t break down as easily under extreme temperature fluctuations.
Exotic metal fasteners and components have been known to handle the highest pressure flow lines with a minimum amount of flow restriction for over 50 years. This makes exotic metal fasteners and components ideal for power generation industries that have large machinery running at extremely high pressures by utilizing exotic alloys with extraordinary ability.
What makes exotic metals more corrosion resistant?
Typically, exotic metals like nickel and chromium alloyed with steel contain more chromium than plain carbon steel. Chromium is what makes stainless steel so corrosion-resistant.
Since these exotic metal fasteners and components have more of this crucial element, they offer superior rust and corrosion resistance compared to standard stainless steel fasteners and components.
Plus, the chemical composition of exotic metal fasteners and components actually changes to prevent corrosion. When these exotic metals are exposed to oxygen, they form a thin layer of oxide film that prevents further corrosion.
So far, so good, right? However, exotic metals are worth their weight in gold (or whatever currency you prefer) when you look at what happens when it comes in contact with corrosive substances like saltwater or even salts found naturally on roads and highways.
Salt Water Corrosion Resistance: The best way to understand corrosion resistance is by looking at the pitting potential. Pitting is that rust-like corrosion that forms under the surface of the metal and causes it to turn to a dark brownish color.
For example, exotic metal fasteners and components like SAE 304 stainless steel, also known as marine grade stainless steel, are a better choice of materials for products that will be exposed to saltwater.
Why do I need exotic metals?
- Does your component need high reliability?
- Does it contact corrosive fluids or gases?
- Is it subject to abrasive conditions?
- Does it require a high-yield strength?
- Is it vulnerable to age-hardening?
- Must it be acid resistant?
- Conform to rigorous industry, military, or aerospace standards?
- Perform reliably in harsh environments where conventional materials would fail?
If you answered yes to any question above, then you may be ready for an exotic metal.
What are some common fasteners and components made from exotic metals?
- Socket Head Cap Screws
- Hex Head Bolts
- Machine Screws
- Specialty Parts
You can order fasteners and components in a variety of exotic metal grades. Thanks to the use of exotic materials and our special processes, our fasteners are more durable and reliable than their counterparts.
Which exotic material is best for my application?
Here are the strong points of a few exotic metals—to give you an idea of their wide-ranging benefits. Contact us to find the best one for your application.
- Titanium has a high tensile strength-to-weight ratio and Corrosion Resistance, making it ideal for demanding wear and high-temperature applications.
- Hastelloy is a nickel-based steel alloy that is highly resistant to corrosion and suitable for many chemical applications that may oxidize other metals.
- Inconel alloys are oxidation-resistant alloys that are well-suited to harsh environments subjected to pressure and heat. It has excellent resistance to corrosion under a wide range of temperatures, making it ideal for high-temperature applications where aluminum and steel are not suitable.
- Monel is a group of nickel alloys with higher strength and resistance to a broader range of corrosive chemicals than ordinary nickel. It is heat-resistant due to its resistance to aerodynamic friction, allowing it to be used in specialty applications.
- 17-7 PH alloy has good fatigue properties, corrosion resistance, and little distortion of temperature-treated parts. There are three grades of age hardening, each with slightly different characteristics.
Which industries benefit most from exotic materials?
- Pump Manufacturers
- Oil & Gas Industries / Petrochemical
- Valve Manufacturers
- Marine / Watercraft Manufacturers
- Water Desalinization
- Aircraft Services
- Your Industry (Most Likely)
What processes & capabilities for exotic metals does TFG have?
Which exotic materials does TFG commonly work with?
- Stainless Steel, Martensitic Precipitation Hardened
- SAE 630
- 17-4 PH
- Inconel 718
- UNS S17400
- AMS 5643
- ASTM A564
- ASTM A693
- Multiphase Steels
Exotic is not extravagant
Product failure and downtime cost you time and money.
Take advantage of exotic metal fasteners and components to increase reliability and reduce costly downtime.
Now it’s your turn to get exotic
Whether you’re exploring options for a new product or you have an existing product that you’d like to put into production, The Federal Group USA can help you with your next exotic metal components project.
We’ve provided high-quality metal fabrication services to a wide variety of industries for more than 40 years.
Contact us today to request a quote for your exotic metal project.