Inconel alloy 718
For most applications, INCONEL alloy 718 is specified as: solution annealed and precipitation hardened (precipitation hardening, age hardening, and precipitation heat treatment are synonymous terms). Alloy 718 is hardened by the precipitation of secondary phases (e.g. gamma prime and gamma double-prime) into the metal matrix. The precipitation of these nickel – (aluminum, titanium, niobium) phases is induced by heat treating in the temperature range of 1100 to 1500°F.
For a proper metallurgical reaction the aging constituents (aluminum, titanium, niobium) must be in solution. If they are precipitated as some other phase or are combined in some other form, they will not precipitate correctly and the full strength of the alloy with not be achieved.
To perform this function the material must first be solution heat treated (solution annealed is a synonymous term). If the material is to be machined, formed, or welded, it typically is purchased in the mill annealed or stress relieved condition. The material is then fabricated in its most malleable condition. After fabrication, it can be heat treated as required per the applicable specification.