Main benefits of Cobalt Chrome Alloy? As we touched on […]
Main benefits of Cobalt Chrome Alloy?
As we touched on above, the main benefits of Cobalt-Chromium Alloy are the wear resistance, strength of the material as well as the ability to work under extreme temperatures. Particular characteristics required for a Cobalt-Chromium Alloy alloy can be finely tuned by adding a mix of different alloys – something which has been perfected over the years.
It will be no surprise to learn this is a relatively expensive alloy for the simple fact that it is so durable it is almost impossible to machine manipulate. Therefore castings for Cobalt-Chromium Alloy based products have to be as perfect as possible so there is minimal corrective action required. Indeed rather than your traditional machine cutting action to “finish off” a rough edged product the only way to manipulate Cobalt-Chromium Alloy is by grinding. So, on one hand the toughness and strength of Cobalt-Chromium Alloy are perfect for many different applications but on the other the toughness and strength reduce the amount of possible manipulation.
With the nuclear industry crying out for extremely tough, temperature resistant and corrosion resistant materials you would have thought that Cobalt-Chromium Alloy alloys would have been perfect. Unfortunately the material is not suitable for nuclear power station central reactor piping because of the risk that tiny particles of Cobalt-Chromium Alloy may enter the process fluid. If this was the case the cobalt element within the alloy would be converted to cobalt-60 by the neutron flux in the reactor itself.
Cobalt-60 is a radioisotope which releases “energetic” gamma rays and has a 5 ½ year life. While not a danger to the general public, many nuclear power plant workers have been exposed to the material in confined conditions which is certainly detrimental to their health.