MP35N™ – or the art of understanding
You would think that once the decision has been made to introduce a new stock range it would be a simple matter of choosing the right stock sizes to put in, educating our staff about the product, then telling prospective customers that we have those stocks and waiting for orders.
MP35N is a nickel-cobalt alloy with a unique combination of properties – ultra high strength, toughness ductility, and outstanding corrosion resistance. Unfortunately not all at the same time! The high strength variant of MP35N™ is used in the aerospace industry. For the oil & gas applications what is lost in strength is more than made up for in excellent stress corrosion cracking resistance for really harsh environments – such as hydrogen sulphide, salt water, and chloride environments, as well as where there is likelihood of attack from mineral acids (nitric, hydrochloric and sulphur). Of course, the oil and gas variant of MP35N conforms to NACEMR0175 / ISO 15166-3 (2009). In between are medical variations and spring material.
The sheer variety appears to have led to confusion and we have come across examples of customers buying MP35N annealed only material (i.e. no cold work or ageing) or worse still, annealed material that has been aged after purchase as annealed material. Since the mill quite rightly refuse to divulge their IP (the amount of cold work put into the material to achieve properties) the company doing the ageing cannot be certain that they are producing material that fully meets the required corrosion resistance properties.
Also, adding to the fun, as the material is used in valve components, springs, high pressure door dogs, actuator valves, and other components, most applications are governed by end user specifications – which adds a new level of confusion as we have found that most have requirements that the mill itself say they cannot (and will not) guarantee.
So our education exercise had to be expanded not only to guide our internal staff but also our customers in the material properties and explain why there are differences between what the end customer wants and what is actually physically possible.
Still this is what we at Broder Metals Group Ltd are willing and happy to do to build supportive relationships with our customers. But when we are looking at new grades to introduce to our stock range in future there might just be a new box that has to be ticked!
The Broder Blogger