The term exotic metals is used to describe any metal that has special qualities, a degree of rarity, or an unusual type of material use in manufacturing.
Exotic metals are typically nonferrous and include things like Aluminium, Nickel, Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Hastelloy, Inconel, Mercury, Molybdenum, Monel, Platinum, Stainless, Tantalum, Titanium, Tungsten or Wolframite, and Waspaloy.
Exotic Materials can also include plastics, superalloys, semiconductors, superconductors, and ceramics.
Because of their unique properties, exotic metals are used in specific engineering applications like industrial and marine applications, casting, chemical processing industries, pulp and paper, aerospace, nuclear engineering, heat treating industries, aerospace, and for electronic components, chemical equipment, missile technology, and nuclear reactors.
Exotic material like Titanium is primarily used to make alloys that are strong, light, and resistant to corrosion. With its high strength-to-weight ratio, titanium is a popular material for marine, medical, and aerospace industries.
Inconel is a difficult to weld or machine exotic metal due to rapid work hardening. It is a nickel-chromium alloy used for applications that require high temperature resistance. Since this metal is well suited for service in extreme environments, it is commonly used in gas turbine blades, seals, and in aerospace and heat treating productions.
Chromium is an exotic metal with the ability to be alloyed in different ways, making it more useful in some applications. It has about the same qualities as Titanium along with an exceptional corrosion and hardness resistance. Chromium is mainly used in stainless steels, alloyed steels, and nonferrous alloys.
Hastealloy (superalloy) or high performance alloy is made predominantly from nickel and various percentages of other elements. It is widely used in the chemical processing industry and designed to withstand high stress environments in which corrosion resistance is important to performance.
Exotic metals are difficult to cut. When cutting these types of metals, machines need to be rigid and high powered.
In order to maintain positive cutting action, bandsaw operators should use soluble oil cutting fluid and a triple-chip carbide or bi-metal saw blade with slow speed and constant feed rates.
To achieve optimum results cutting a nickel-based alloy — Titanium or Inconel — on a bandsaw machine, it is advised to use a bandsaw blade with unique tooth geometry. Sawblade.com recommends their Q701 Series M42 Bi-metal and CT Q1002 Qsaw Triple Chip Carbide bandsaw blades for this type of work.
There are numerous procedures used to fabricate/machine exotic materials. The best method of production may depend on each application’s requirements. Effective machining when handling specialized materials and/or tooling will result in effective and quality production output.