While pipelines are often made of pure aluminium due to their specific properties, many radiator components used in vehicle and power plant construction are mainly made of aluminium-manganese alloys. Due to their low resistance, they are suitable for components where good malleability and high heat resistance of the material are required. In addition, these alloys have high corrosion resistance.
Under the symbol CU and the atomic number 29, the transition metal copper can be found in the periodic table. The light reactive heavy metal called cuprum in Latin with a density of 8.92 g/cm³ and a cubic face-centered crystal structure is relatively soft and tough. Due to these physical properties, copper is quite easy to shape. Copper is therefore one of the first metallic materials ever to be used by mankind for production purposes. The semi-precious metal is in demand not only because of its easy processing, but also because of its excellent thermal and electrical conductivity.
Bronze is specially developed for the production of engine and transmission parts that are exposed to shocks, vibrations and high wear. These components include bolts and screws as well as shafts and spindles.
Control parts in hydraulic systems and hot steam valves are made of bronze, as are plates that serve as the base for condensers and heat exchangers. Bronze alloys are also used for pipes used in the construction of equipment in the chemical industry.
Due to its diverse and customisable properties, bronze is one of the most versatile materials.
In order to adapt the properties of the material to individual requirements, other metals can also be added in small doses. However, the main component is always copper, which is mixed with up to 40% zinc.
Due to its good electrical conductivity and high mechanical stability, brass is used, for example, in the production of antennas and waveguides. In addition, brass with a three-percent lead content is used for sanitary purposes. The so-called fitting brass is suitable for near-net-shape fittings as well as for corresponding fittings where good machinability is required.
The particularly fine, cubic space-centered crystal structure with a density of 6.60 g/cm3 gives tantalum special mechanical properties. The brittle ductile transition temperature, for example, is - 200°C and thus far below the usual room temperatures. This ensures first-class malleability. The high ductility makes it possible to form tantalum using various non-cutting processes. The desired results can be achieved by bending, pressing and embossing as well as by deep drawing. It is also possible to weld tantalum. However, tantalum is not suitable for machining processes.
Zirconium has a great affinity for oxygen. This causes a fine oxide layer on the surface of the material, which results in very high corrosion resistance in most acids. Zirconium is used for many nuclear applications. Further applications are chemical plants, especially for valves, pumps, pipes and heat exchangers as well as in the medical sector, since zirconium is biocompatible and non-toxic. Zirconium tubes have low neutron absorption, high strength and corrosion resistance under various operating conditions. Unlike stainless steels, the structure of a zirconium product has a significant effect on its performance, as the irradiation creep behaviour, yield strength and resistance to stress corrosion cracking are closely related to the structure.
C-steel is steel which, in addition to its main constituent iron, mainly contains carbon (C) as a secondary constituent. It is also known as carbon steel. It is hard, forgeable steel. The carbon content can be up to 2.1%. Although carbon steel easily rust or reacts and tarnishes with other materials, it has considerable advantages over stainless steels for tube bending. It is harder (up to about 65 depending on carbon content) and therefore easier to machine. From an economic point of view, carbon steel is a cost-effective alternative to stainless steel when coated.
Stainless steels are high-purity steels in which components such as aluminium and silicon are separated from the melt by a special manufacturing process. High-alloy tool steels that are intended for subsequent heat treatment are also classified as stainless steels.
A common feature of all stainless steels is that a chromium content of at least 12% is added to the steel alloy. Contact with oxygen from the surrounding media (air, water, other substances) causes a thin, transparent layer of chromium oxide (passivation) to form on the steel surface, only a few atom layers thick. This layer protects the underlying steel from further chemical influences.