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View Full Version : Inconel, worth anything?



radkins
03-02-2015, 07:02 AM
I have two pieces of what is supposed to be Inconel that came from a shop that was making landing gear parts for Boeing, at least that is what I was told and the fellow gave me the stuff so he had no reason to tell me wrong. One piece is about 3"x4"x4 1/2" and the other is about 3"x5"x14", rough guess. I have absolutely no use for this stuff but it was with some large piece of 4150 he also gave me so I just took the whole lot. I am not trying to sell it I just hate to let the scrap yard have it for scrap iron prices when someone might be able to use it.

Carm
03-02-2015, 07:56 AM
Well, if you do scrap it, don't take iron/steel price for it...iron is a small % of the make up.

Rosco-P
03-02-2015, 08:21 AM
Inconel has a high Nickel content, as posted by Carm, up to 72% depending on the alloy. Are the pieces marked with the alloy #, 600, 617, 625?? If they are marked, nothing wrong with selling it or trading it to a shop that can use the material.

flylo
03-02-2015, 08:33 AM
I'd like to try it but if I were you I'd sell ot on ebay.

ironmonger
03-02-2015, 08:52 AM
My first thought was about weather or not it was forgeable... 30 years of hobby hammer and anvil activity will do that to you... Looks like it forges well, but not without a lot of power:
http://www.steelforge.com/inconel-601/
but I can't think of anything to make out of it in particular that would use it's properties to the fullest and be worth the effort for me. I have tig welded inconel tubing, and that went well.

As long as it's unidentified, it's marketability would be limited.

paul

loose nut
03-02-2015, 09:09 AM
Inconel is very expensive material, they sell it by the inch not by the length, just costs to much to buy more then you need. If you have a mill test report that is traceable to the material then it may be useful to a shop but without it that material is just an unknown and even a scrap dealer will cut you down on the price. It can be tested to prove that it is Inconel but it may not be possible to tell what grade it is and there are a lot of different kinds so that will hurt too.

The paper trail is everything in metal these days, even at a scrap yard.

John Stevenson
03-02-2015, 10:07 AM
Scrap yards are not really interested in Inconel and it hardly makes above steel price because it's one of those metals that cost as much to reprocess as new ore.
That's why iron and alloy get good prices as they are easy to reprocess.
The chimney on my workshop is Inconel, 6" diameter 1/8" wall thickness and 15 foot long. I was given this from a scrap yard.

Problem is everyone is thrown by the cost of new.

Rosco-P
03-02-2015, 10:14 AM
My first thought was about weather or not it was forgeable... 30 years of hobby hammer and anvil activity will do that to you... Looks like it forges well, but not without a lot of power:
http://www.steelforge.com/inconel-601/
but I can't think of anything to make out of it in particular that would use it's properties to the fullest and be worth the effort for me. I have tig welded inconel tubing, and that went well.

As long as it's unidentified, it's marketability would be limited.

paul

Make a big giant sword. They seem to be popular enough: http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/big-giant-swords/

Fasttrack
03-02-2015, 10:14 AM
Inconel is very high dollars stuff if you've got the certs for it. Otherwise, it should bring stainless steel scrap prices. It's mostly nickel.

It is usually used for extreme environments - think jet engines, rocket nozzles/manifolds, etc. It has excellent high heat properties, particularly in corrosive/oxidizing environments.

ldbent
03-02-2015, 10:55 AM
Googled and found a thread on Practical Machinist from 2006 giving the scrap price of two common grades as $6 and $7 a pound. Reading here and elsewhere gives me the impression that yards have some kind of gun that will identify the alloy. Many years ago I worked for a gas utility. Many of my co-workers were avid scrappers. I recall the delight of one who was asked to remove a broken down water heater w/an Inconel tank. One guys name was Howard. He was 6 ft. 8 in. 305# and NOT fat. Howard came across a large brass valve in a commercial building scheduled for demolition. He set about removing it without opening it. It was live. He said he had a hell of a time getting it screwed back on the large diameter nipple where it came through the foundation wall.

radkins
03-02-2015, 12:27 PM
As long as it's unidentified, it's marketability would be limited

That's the problem I can't positively identify it (as in certification) although I know what it is. This shop closed down and one of the guys who worked there was kept on for a while "locking up" the place so to speak, the last couple of days there the lady that was in charge of the place told them that anything left there had to go even if it meant tossing it in the dumpster. He brought me several 4150 bars, both round stock and flat, about 6' long of various sizes and he said that the Inconel pieces were about to be dumped and he thought maybe I could use it too, however except for using the large piece for an anvil it's basically just in the way. I chucked up a small piece in my lathe with the intentions of turning it down into a round piece and as I had been told I started cutting fairly slow and taking heavy cuts, I had barely gotten the corners rounded off when it became work hardened and the carbide bit quit cutting and could do no more than make some smoke and occasional sparks so I gave up on that and have no intention of trying it again. Don't know what to do with the stuff, I have no use for it but I realize it's too valuable to just scrap for pennies per pound with there being well over 100 lbs of the stuff. I will get some measurements sometime today instead of guessing about it and maybe post a pic, maybe someone can make use of it.


On another note he also brought me a 6" Kurt vise that except for missing the jaw plates needed nothing but cleaning and a coat of paint to look like new, I bought a new set of hardened jaws from Enco (mentioned this one in another thread) He also brought me a 15" Bridgeport rotary table that is also nearly as good as new, it works very smoothly with no slop and has a perfect table surface. Neither the vise nor the rotary table had seen much use at all and were just dirty from sitting in a part of the tool room reserved for odds&ends as he put it. He had been working there for over 11 years and said they were still sitting in the same spot as when he started, he rescued these two items as they were being loaded onto a truck headed to the scrap yard! I really needed that vise and have it cleaned and painted and clamped down to it's new home on my milling table! :D

Carm
03-02-2015, 01:01 PM
Congratulations on such a score, wow.
So, make an anvil! Hammers too. But getting chunked up prolly needs a waterjet.

radkins
03-02-2015, 03:59 PM
Well all this stuff wasn't entirely free, it cost me a $23 jug of Bullseye pistol powder! :D

projectnut
03-02-2015, 04:29 PM
One reason Inconel is very expensive is because there isn't much of a demand for it. When you need it you need it, but in most cases you have to buy an entire run of it before any foundry will make it. We used it for plastic extrusion dies, extruder screws, and extruder manifolds. It's extremely tough to saw, mill, drill, and turn on a lathe.

We bought the material in 8" rounds about 4' in length, or in rectangular blocks about 12" x 18" x 6". The band saws didn't go slow enough to so the roughing cuts were done with a Racine power hacksaw. The stuff was so heavy a 4' length had to be hoisted into the saw. Once in the saw it was a set and forget operation. Most alloys were so tough it took several hours to a day to do a single through cut on an 8" round.

It took a month to machine, finish, and polish an 18" die. For turning and milling we had to use either carbide or ceramic tooling. It was extremely time consuming and difficult to make an extrusion die, but I never saw one wear out in over 20 years. From time to time they had to be repolished or reworked for a different product but they never totally wore out.

radkins
03-02-2015, 05:20 PM
Apparently unless a scrap yard is willing to pay something besides scrap iron prices I may as well just use this metal for an anvil and maybe a boat anchor. I see absolutely nothing I can do with it otherwise except stumble over it, apparently for a small home shop the stuff is for all practical purposes non-machinable.

Mark Rand
03-02-2015, 05:38 PM
Not much help in your case, but I rescued a 20lb reel of Inconel 82 MIG welding wire from a skip at work. It's brilliant stuff. Sticks anything to anything:D

Euph0ny
03-02-2015, 06:26 PM
Inconel and its friend Monel are used by manufacturers of high-end brass musical instruments to make the bodies of piston and rotary valves for trumpets, tubas, etc. as they are highly resistant to both corrosion and galling. I own a euphonium with monel valves. Perhaps see if you have a local instrument instrument manufacturer who could use it?

PixMan
03-02-2015, 08:57 PM
You do NOT "know what it is".

The difference between Inconel 600 and an Inconel 718 Condition H950 is like the difference between your 4150 and 12L14 Ledloy. Vastly different properties, in every conceivable way.