An Alloy Solution – NITINOL 60
Attacking the lubrication problem form the alloy side is a nickel-titanium alloy, NITINOL 60 (60NiTi). Its alloy was developed in the early 1950s by Dr. William Buehler, a Naval Ordnance Laboratory Researcher working on non-corrosive, non-magnetic alloys for aerospace, energy production and medical devices. It contains, by weight, 60% nickel and 40% titanium and holds promise for oil-lubricated rolling and sliding contact applications such as bearing and gears.
NiTi alloys are known for their shape memory. When properly processed, however, NITINOL 60 also exhibits excellent dimensional stability and useful structural properties. NITINOL 60 is hard, electrically conductive, highly corrosion resistant, less dense than steel, readily machined prior to final heat treatment, non-galling and non-magnetic. Importantly, NITINOL 60 has shown remarkable tribological performance when compared to other aerospace bearing alloys under oil-lubricated conditions.
Products made from NITINOL 60 have the following properties:
Better lubrication: Oils without corrosion inhibitors can be used
Lower friction: the coefficient of friction is substantially reduced
High hardness: hardness from 56 to 62 RC can be achieved
Wear-resistance: Low friction and high hardness lead to long life
Non-magnetic: Beneficial in a range of applications
Non-corrosive: Salt spray tests show no sign of corrosion
Reduced weight: Parts weigh 15% to 20% less than steel
Higher speeds: Lighter weight reduces centrifugal forces
Tighter tolerance: Super-fine grain structure achieves closer tolerances
Greater efficiency: Lower weight and friction mean reduced power consumption