By: Dave Olsen
Aluminum Bronze alloys are a family of copper-based alloys that use iron and nickel in their chemistry but rely on aluminum as the principal alloying element. Aluminum significantly adds to the strength to the point that it is like that of medium carbon steel. The additional advantage is that aluminum bronze properties also include excellent corrosion resistance. It is that strength and corrosion resistance that gave rise to the early use of aluminum bronze.
A small adjustment in metallurgy causes significant changes in performance. This recognition of other properties has led to the use of Aluminum Bronzes for a variety of parts. Including parts requiring strength, hardness, resistance to wear and galling, low magnetic permeability, resistance to cavitation, erosion, softening, and oxidation at elevated temperatures. These aluminum bronze properties, together with ease of weldability, have greatly extended the fields of application for Aluminum Bronze.
There are two major groups in the Aluminum Bronze family – Aluminum Bronze and Nickel Aluminum Bronze. Aluminum Bronze contains approximately 9-14% aluminum and 4% iron while Nickel Aluminum Bronze contains approximately 9-11% aluminum, 4% iron, and 5% nickel. That addition of nickel in the latter further improves the corrosion resistance of a material that is already strong in this area.
Common Aluminum Bronze alloys and some typical applications:
- C95200 is a highly ductile material with good corrosion resistance. This is ideally suited for bushings, bearings, light-duty gears, wear plates, low-pressure piping, pump columns, and containers.
- C95400 offers high yield and tensile strength, extraordinary toughness, and exceptional resistance to wear, fatigue, and deformation. This all-purpose alloy is widely used in chemical, marine, aircraft, and machine tools such as gears, bushings and bearings, pumps, and valves.
- C95500 is one of the toughest of the non-ferrous alloys. It serves the same industries as C95400 with higher strength, hardness, and corrosion resistance, though it has a slightly lower impact toughness.
- As a special Nickel Aluminum Bronze, C95800 is especially suited for marine applications with optimum resistance to seawater corrosion. Those may include propeller system parts, bushings, bearings, piping, including desalination, and other corrosive marine applications.
- C95900 provides higher hardness and compressive strength and is used for wear plates, forming rolls, draw dies, gears, valve guides, seats, and die inserts.
- MTEK 375 is an extremely hard, superior material often used for forming, drawing, and bending stainless steel.
For guidance in selecting the appropriate aluminum bronze in your application, contact us.