Inconel 600® is a standard engineering material and has a great resistance to heat and corrosion. Inconel 600® also has high strength and can be easily formed. Inconel 600® can be hardened and strengthened only by cold work. Inconel 600® can be used in the heat-treating industry for muffles, furnace components, and for heat-treating baskets and trays.
Inconel 600 are oxidation and corrosion resistant materials ideal for extreme environments. Inconel 600 when heated forms a thick, stable, passivating oxide layer protecting the surface from further attack. Inconel 600 retains strength over a wide temperature range, attractive for high temperature applications where aluminum and steel would succumb to creep as a result of thermally-induced crystal vacancies. High temperature strength of Inconel 600 is developed by solid solution strengthening or precipitation strengthening.
Inconel 600 is a difficult metal to shape and machine using traditional techniques due to rapid work hardening. After the first machining pass, work hardening tends to plastically deform either the workpiece or the tool on subsequent passes. For this reason, age-hardened Inconels such as 718 are machined using an aggressive but slow cut with a hard tool, minimizing the number of passes required. Alternatively, the majority of the machining can be performed with the workpiece in a solutionised form, with only the final steps being performed after age-hardening. External threads are machined using a lathe to "single point" the threads, or by rolling the threads using a screw machine. Holes with internal threads are made by welding or brazing threaded inserts made of stainless steel. Cutting of plate is often done with a waterjet cutter. Internal threads can also be cut by single point method on lathe, or by threadmilling on a machining center. New whisker reinforced ceramic cutters are also used to machine nickel alloys. They remove material at a rate typically 8 times faster than carbide cutters.
Welding Inconel 600 is difficult due to cracking and microstructural segregation of alloying elements in the heat affected zone. The most common welding method is gas tungsten arc welding. New innovations in pulsed micro laser welding have also become more popular in recent years.
Inconel 600 is often encountered in extreme environments. It is common in gas turbine blades, seals, and combustors, as well as turbocharger rotors and seals, electric submersible well pump motor shafts, high temperature fasteners, chemical processing and pressure vessels, heat exchanger tubing, steam generators in nuclear pressurized water reactors, natural gas progressing with contaminants such as H2S and CO2, firearm sound suppressor blast baffles, and Formula One and NASCAR exhaust systems. Inconel 600 is increasingly used in the boilers of waste incinerators.