Nickel-Copper Alloys ( Monel K500 )

Nickel-Copper Alloys in Space (marketing department of Shanghai HY Industry Co., Ltd)

As we all know, about 70% of the world’s nickel production is used for stainless steel production. Stainless steel was discovered independently by some researchers in 1912, but corrosion-resistant nickel-based alloys were discovered much earlier. In 1906, a nickel-copper (Ni-Cu) alloy developed by the International Nickel Corporation of Canada (INCO) was patented. The alloy has now been developed into a group of nickel alloys called Monel®, which are two-thirds nickel and one-third copper.

Nickel-copper alloys are stronger than pure nickel and exhibit excellent corrosion resistance in a variety of non-oxidizing acid and alkaline environments, including rapidly flowing seawater. Nickel-copper alloys are well resistant to various concentrations of hydrofluoric acid in the temperature range up to the boiling point, and are resistant to various forms of sulfuric and hydrochloric acid under reducing conditions.


Nickel-copper alloys also have excellent oxidation resistance (combustion resistance) in high oxygen environments, and excellent mechanical properties at sub-zero temperatures and up to 550°C (1020°F). Nickel-copper alloys are easily fabricated by hot working, cold working, machining and welding. The most famous type of nickel-copper alloy is Alloy 400 ( N04400 / Monel 400 ). Alloy 400 can only be hardened by cold work, but the addition of aluminum and titanium in 1924 resulted in a stronger, age-hardened product known as K-500 ( N05500 / Monel K500). Through the deposition of γ-phase particles, the yield strength reached 690 MPa (100 kpsi), which is about three times higher than that of alloy 400 ( N04400 / Monel 400 ).


Nickel-copper alloys are found in pipes, rods and wires for various space applications. The natural flame resistance of nickel-copper alloys in oxygen, excellent properties at sub-zero temperatures and the high strength of K-500 make this alloy ideal for oxygen-enriched liquefied fuel rocket engines (such as Blue Origin BE-4) oxidation It is an important material for making turbine-side turbo pumps.

Blue Origin uses 3D additive manufacturing to manufacture many key components of the Ox Booster Pump (OBP). Its housing is a printed aluminum part, and all stages of the turbine are printed with Monel K-500. Figure 1 shows the housing of the Blue Origin BE-4Ox booster pump. This fabrication method enables the integration of complex internal flow channels into the housing that would be much more difficult to manufacture using conventional methods. Turbine nozzles and rotors are also 3D-printed and require only a small amount of machining to achieve the desired fit.

Even today, nickel-copper alloys developed more than a century ago play a vital role in demanding cutting-edge applications.

Shanghai HY Industry Co., Ltd has international first-class material production equipment such as high temperature alloy isothermal forging production line, CONSARC vacuum melting furnace, VAR vacuum arc remelting furnace etc., with strong professional ability and highly responsible management team. If you have superalloy material inquiry, please contact us without hesitation. Shanghai HY Industry Co., Ltd is Corrosion & fatigue nickel alloy professional manufacturer,We will provide you with sincere and thoughtful service.

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