Typical applications of stellite alloy
Stellite is a family completely non-magnetic and corrosion-resistant cobalt alloys of various compositions that have been optimised for different uses. The alloy currently most suited for cutting tools, for example, is Stellite 100, because this alloy is quite hard, maintains a good cutting edge even at high temperature, and resists hardening and annealing. Other alloys are formulated to maximize combinations of wear resistance, corrosion resistance, or ability to withstand extreme temperatures.
Typical applications include saw teeth, hardfacing, and acid-resistant machine parts. Stellite was a major improvement in the production of poppet valves and valve seats for the valves, particularly exhaust valves, of internal combustion engines. By reducing their erosion from hot gases, the interval between maintenance and re-grinding of their seats was dramatically lengthened. The first third of the M2HB machine gun and M60 machine gun barrels (starting from the chamber) are lined with Stellite. The locking lugs and shoulders of Voere Titan II rifles were also made of Stellite. In the early 1980s, experiments were done in the United Kingdom to make artificial hip joints and other bone replacements out of precision-cast Stellite alloys. It is also widely used for making the cast structure of dental prostheses.
Stellite has also been used in the manufacture of turning tools for lathes. With the introduction and improvements in tipped tools it is not used as often, but it was found to have superior cutting properties compared to the early carbon steel tools and even some high speed steel tools, especially against difficult materials such as stainless steel. Care was needed in grinding the blanks and these were marked at one end to show the correct orientation, without which the cutting edge could chip prematurely.
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