The development of nickel and cobalt alloys is closely intertwined with the history of modern aerospace. Many of the alloys used in aerospace belong to the group known as superalloys. These alloys combine extreme temperature resistance with strong anticorrosive properties. Most superalloys contain nickel or cobalt as their main constituent. Stability at high temperatures, high creep strength, good fatigue behavior, slow crack propagation, toughness and resistance to high-temperature oxidation comprise the critical properties and features of this group of materials.
Production of materials to aerospace quality represents the ultimate discipline of materials manufacturing. Needless to say, VDM Metals possesses all relevant approvals and permits for its production plants, production processes and materials.
Our superalloys are vacuum melted in VIM furnaces. In cases of special requirements, we use the triple-melt procedure to ensure that our materials meet the extremely stringent quality specifications of aerospace applications. In this way we are able to ensure a high purity and an exact chemical analysis of our materials.
The engine represents the heart of the aircraft. Very stringent requirements apply to their materials, due to the extreme thermal and dynamic loads that are sustained. In medium and high pressure compressor areas, high strength and resistance to high-temperature corrosion are indispensable requirements. Semi-finished products such as rods and bars, discs, plates, blades and forged parts, are used in these applications, made for example from VDM® Alloy 718. VDM Metals supplies pre-material for non-rotating as well as for rotating parts.
The use of carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) for large structural construction components, in tail fins for example, is steadily growing. The ferronickel VDM® Alloy 36 is used in constructing the molds in which the CFRP components are hardened in a special furnace (autoclave). With an expansion coefficient one-eighth that of steel, it meets the high requirements for the hardening process on molds.