Nickel Alloy Powders

Table of Contents

Nickel alloys refer to a broad range of heat and corrosion resistant materials where nickel constitutes over 40% of the composition. This guide provides an overview of various nickel alloy powder types, manufacturing methods, key applications, specifications, pricing, comparisons, and frequently asked questions for procurement.

Compositions of Nickel Alloy Powder

Alloy FamilyMajor Alloying ElementsCommon Grades
SuperalloysCr, Co, Mo, Ti, AlInconel 718, 625, Haynes 282
High temp alloysCr, Mo, WHaynes 230, 188, HR-120
Corrosion resistantCr, MoAlloy C-276, 20Cb-3, G-35-1
Electrical / ElectronicFe, Cu, CrAlloy 42, Kovar
Shape memoryTi, HfNitinol (NiTi)

Various alloying elements like chromium, cobalt, iron, copper etc. added to tune mechanical properties, improve fabrication, and enhance corrosion and wear resistance.

nickel alloy powder

Key Characteristics and Powder Properties

AttributeTypical Values
Particle shapeSpherical
Size range10 – 150 microns
Oxygen ppmBelow 500 ppm
Hall flow rateAround 25 secs for 50g
Apparent density2 – 5 g/cc
Surface oxideThin passivated chromia film

Particle characteristics tailored to suit production method – additive manufacturing needs spherical powders below 100 microns whereas cold spray better with larger particles.

Production Methods for Nickel Alloy Powder

Gas AtomizationInert gas disintegrates molten metal into droplet powder
Water AtomizationHigh pressure water breaks up melt stream
Plasma AtomizationVery clean, small production volumes
Carbonyl ProcessChemical precipitation from nickel carbonyl

Gas atomization best suited for reactive alloys like superalloys, titanium etc. Water atomization more economical for high volumes above 30 microns. Plasma atomization and carbonyl route produce specialty powders.

Applications of Nickel Alloy Powder

IndustryCommon Components
AerospaceTurbine blades, discs, transitions
Oil & GasWellhead equipment, valves, fasteners
AutomotiveExhaust system parts, fuel cells
Chemical ProcessHeat exchangers, reaction vessels
MedicalImplants, surgical tools
Additive ManufacturingBi-metal parts, lattices, topology optimized designs

Nickel alloys serve critical applications needing combination of high strength and corrosion resistance at elevated temperatures.

Specifications for Nickel Alloy Powder

ASTM B162Nickel plating grade specifications
ASTM B214Porous nickel strip
ASTM B351Wrought superalloy product forms
ASTM B777Powder metallurgy (PM) nickel alloys

No universal powder specifications exist. Application and intended production method instead determines acceptance norms.

Nickel Alloy Powder Suppliers and Pricing

VendorLead timePrice Range ($/kg)
Sandvik Osprey10-16 weeks$25 – $500
Atlantic Equipment12-18 weeks$30 – $450
TLS Technik16-20 weeks$35 – $480

Pricing varies widely depending on alloy composition, powder quantity, size range and quality level specified.

Pros and Cons of Nickel Alloy Powder

High strength at elevated tempsExpensive alloy raw materials
Withstand harsh environmentsLimited suppliers and availability
Custom alloys for tailored propertiesStrict quality procedures to ensure purity
Flexible production methodsSafety hazards with fine metal powders
Complex shapes from AM technologyPost processing often essential after AM builds

Nickel alloy powders enable fabrication of high performance components but require significant expertise to manufacture and handle safely.

nickel alloy powder


What is the difference between superalloys, high temp alloys and stainless alloys?

Superalloys have highest strength thanks to gamma prime precipitate strengthening. High temp alloys beat oxidation. Stainless alloys focus on corrosion resistance.

What particle size range works best for binder jet printing?

Around 20 to 50 microns needed for binding process. Too fine powders inhibit liquid saturation and binder spread. Ensure narrow distribution for packing density.

What causes contamination during atomization?

Oxygen pickup from air leads to oxide inclusions. Minor element loss by vaporization possible. Other sources are tundish liners, melt crucibles. Use high purity inert gas and starting materials.

Why is gas atomized powder preferred over water atomized?

Water atomization leads to oxygen pickup degrading powder quality. Cooling rates slower leading to carbide networks which lower corrosion resistance. Avoid for reactive alloys.

What are common defects when printing nickel alloys?

Lack of fusion defects due to poor energy density. Residual stress cracking. Powder trapped inside enclosed volumes. Porosity from gas entrapment. Require integrated solution development.


Nickel alloy powders provide extreme environments capability essential in critical applications, with customized compositions and particle properties available through specialized manufacturing processes. Careful specification and testing ensures suitability for production methods like additive manufacturing, thermal spray, or powder injection molding.

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