What is Monel’s Temperature Range?

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When a company lists an alloy as “high-temperature” what exactly does that mean? This may not seem that important but it is in fact a critical question to be considered and to answer. Misjudging temperature thresholds can spell disaster, for both safety and your bottom line. In this article we will look at the popular high-temperature alloy, Monel, and try to answer the question “How hot can Monel get?”

Monel's Temperature Range

Monel, which comes in five different forms (plate, sheet, tube, pipe, pipe fittings, round bar, and wire), is a nickel alloy that contains roughly 70% nickel, 29% copper, and a small mix of iron, manganese, silicon, and carbon. The most common grades of Monel are Monel 400, Monel 405, and Monel K500, each with their own unique properties. Commercial and industrial clients choose Monel for its variety of outstanding features including:

  • Strength (stronger than steel)
  • Excellent corrosion resistance including alkalis, salt water, and sulfuric and hydrofluoric acids
  • Workability/Malleability
  • Ease of welding, brazing, and soldering
  • Low coefficient of thermal expansion
  • Ability to hold up in high temperature situations as well as low temperatures

As you might expect, these properties attract many manufacturers for a variety of applications. Monel can be found in applications such as:

  • Brine heaters, seawater scrubbers
  • Heat Exchangers
  • Oil refinery piping
  • Feed water and steam generator tubing
  • Electronic components
  • Propeller shafts
  • Building materials including ductwork, flashing, chutes, and downspouts

As you can observe from this brief list, maintaining certain temperature levels plays a major role in their operation. If you create a heat exchanger with an improper alloy, the exchanger becomes an accident that is waiting to happen.

So how hot can Monel get? Properly treated Monel will hold good mechanical properties from subzero temperatures, all the way up to 480°C (896°F). It has an impressive melting point of 1300-1350°C (2372-2462°F), and a Curie temperature of 35°C (95°F).

While Monel does rack up some impressive numbers, there are alloys that do even better in high temperatures. For instance, Incoloy has a maximum operating temperature of 871°C (1600°F) while Inconel’s is 982°C (1800°F) and Nichrome V tops out at 1093°C (2000°F).

Monel is just one of the outstanding options for those in search of a high-temperature alloy. What really matters in the end is your ability to match up the best and most precise alloy with the unique needs of your application. Monel might offer outstanding strength, but if you need your alloy to function over 896°F then Inconel might be right for you. This is when a highly trained alloy expert really comes in handy.

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