C103 Niobium and Its Uses in the Aerospace Industry

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Niobium (Nb) and its alloys are commonly used in the aerospace industry for their incredible heat resistance, light-weight, competitive price, reliability, and ability to stand up to intense vibrations and cryogenic temperatures. This is especially true for c103 niobium, which was first used in space decades ago when it was integrated into the nozzle extended segment of the Apollo Lunar Command Module rocket nozzles.

C103, formerly known as Columbium, is the ductile and cost-competitive alternative to tantalum (Ta). Its properties are similar to those of W and Mo alloys, but it also exhibits superior corrosion resistance in liquid alkali metals, molten salts, and high pressure environments. In addition, it has the ability to maintain its ductility at elevated temperatures, where other refractory alloys such as W and Mo are typically brittle.

While niobium has a number of uses in the aerospace industry, it’s most well-known as a superconducting material. It can be drawn into very thin wires that offer zero resistance to current flow when cooled to superconducting temperatures. These super-efficient magnets are used in applications ranging from MRI machines to powering the energy particle accelerator at the CERN in Switzerland.

In addition to its high melting point and strong corrosion resistance, niobium is also highly conductive at normal temperatures. This is why it is so popular in the Aerospace and Defense industry as a raw material and in superconducting applications such as windings for electromagnets, generators, and motors.

Niobium hafnium alloys, such as c103, are produced by alloying niobium, titanium, and hafnium together in a vacuum furnace to create very uniform ingots that can then be rolled into sheets, plates, rods, and bars. The niobium-hafnium alloy is then used in aerospace and cryogenic applications such as spacecraft and launch vehicles. Admat produces c103 niobium ingots and rods as well as custom manufactured components for customers who need these high-performance materials. Contact us today for a quote.