Understanding IN738LC: A Comprehensive Guide

Share This Post

Table of Contents

What is IN738LC?

IN738LC, more commonly known simply as IN738, is a notable nickel-based superalloy. This unique material has gained prominence for its exceptional resistance to high temperatures, creep, and oxidation. Commonly found in turbines, jet engines, and various other high-temperature applications, its properties are indispensable in several sectors.

The development of IN738LC traces back to the growing needs of the aerospace industry. As engines began operating at higher temperatures to achieve greater efficiencies, the demand for materials that could withstand such environments surged. IN738LC emerged as an ideal solution, characterized by its remarkable durability and resilience.

An important point to note about IN738LC is its rich composition. Made primarily of nickel, it also incorporates elements like chromium, tungsten, and cobalt. Each component contributes to its stellar properties:

  • Nickel: Enhances the alloy’s overall corrosion resistance.
  • Chromium: Increases the alloy’s resistance to oxidation.
  • Tungsten & Cobalt: Contribute to the alloy’s high-temperature strength.

Furthermore, the alloy undergoes a series of specialized manufacturing processes to enhance its qualities. These include methods like precipitation hardening, which ensures that IN738LC retains its strength even at elevated temperatures.

Considering its relevance in modern industries, understanding the specific nuances of IN738LC is essential. From its manufacturing processes to its varied applications, this alloy serves as a testament to human engineering and innovation.

How much does IN738LC cost?

Diving into the cost of IN738LC, it’s essential to remember that its pricing can be influenced by several factors. From market demands to the specific requirements of its grade, prices can vary considerably.

The aerospace and power generation industries predominantly utilize IN738LC. Given the critical nature of these sectors and the need for high reliability, the premium for high-quality IN738LC is understandable. Let’s delve into a specific price range for different grades and forms of IN738LC:

Form/GradePrice Range (per kg)
IN738LC Sheet$50 – $70
IN738LC Bar$60 – $80
High-purity IN738LC$85 – $110

It’s pertinent to note that these prices are indicative and can fluctuate based on various factors such as:

  1. Global Nickel Prices: Since IN738LC is a nickel-based superalloy, the cost of raw nickel plays a pivotal role in determining its price.
  2. Manufacturing Complexities: The production of IN738LC involves intricate processes that can influence costs.
  3. Supply & Demand: Like any other commodity, market dynamics play a crucial role. A surge in demand from aerospace or energy sectors can cause price hikes.
  4. Brand Value: Established manufacturers who are trusted for their quality often price their products higher than lesser-known brands.
  5. Regional Factors: Tariffs, taxes, and transportation costs in specific regions can also impact the final cost to the end consumer.

One brand that stands out in the production of IN738LC is Special Metals. Renowned for its quality and consistency, Special Metals’ IN738LC is a preferred choice for many high-end applications. However, their pricing tends to be on the higher end of the spectrum, reflective of their brand value and product quality.

Given the critical applications of IN738LC, it’s advisable for buyers to not just focus on cost but also consider the reliability and reputation of the manufacturer. A compromised material can lead to severe repercussions, especially in sectors like aerospace where safety is paramount.

Understanding IN738LC: A Comprehensive Guide 4

What are the types of IN738LC?

The versatility and high-performance attributes of IN738LC have led to its evolution into various grades and types over the years. These variants cater to specific needs across different industries. Let’s explore some of the common types and their primary distinctions:

  1. Standard IN738LC: The base alloy, primarily used in aerospace and power generation, known for its excellent resistance to high temperatures and oxidizing conditions.
  2. High-purity IN738LC: Developed for applications where impurities could compromise performance. Its enhanced refining process results in superior material integrity.
  3. Weldable IN738LC: Optimized for welding applications, this variant has a modified composition to ensure consistent performance post-welding.
  4. Corrosion-resistant IN738LC: For situations exposed to corrosive environments, this type has additives that further improve its resistance.

The table below illustrates a hypothetical price range for these different types:

Type of IN738LCPrice Range (per kg)
Standard IN738LC$60 – $75
High-purity IN738LC$85 – $105
Weldable IN738LC$70 – $90
Corrosion-resistant IN738LC$80 – $95

It’s worth noting that these prices can vary based on numerous factors, such as market demand, regional variations, and brand reputation.

Functions of IN738LC

IN738LC is not just another alloy in the vast metal landscape. Its unique set of properties makes it a prime choice for specific functions in various high-tech industries. Delving into the core functions:

  1. High-temperature Resistance: One of the principal reasons IN738LC is a preferred choice in aerospace and power generation is its ability to maintain structural integrity under extreme heat. Jet engines, gas turbines, and other such equipment often operate under temperatures where many materials would melt or degrade. IN738LC stands firm, ensuring the reliability of these systems.
  2. Oxidation and Corrosion Resistance: Exposed to the atmosphere, many metals oxidize or corrode. This superalloy’s innate resistance to such degradation, especially at high temperatures, makes it an enduring choice in demanding environments.
  3. Creep Resistance: ‘Creep’ is the tendency of materials to deform slowly under the influence of mechanical stresses, especially when exposed to heat for extended periods. IN738LC’s impressive resistance to creep makes it suitable for long-term applications in industries like aviation.
  4. Excellent Mechanical Strength: Apart from resisting external environmental challenges, IN738LC boasts robust mechanical strength. This ensures it can handle physical stresses without compromising its form or function.
  5. Weldability: While some high-performance alloys can be challenging to weld, specific variants of IN738LC have been optimized for this purpose, retaining their properties even post the welding process.

Applications of IN738LC

IN738LC has carved a niche for itself in some of the most demanding industrial applications, thanks to its impressive combination of properties. Below is a comprehensive exploration of the various applications of this superalloy:

Aerospace: This sector, with its rigorous standards and demands, is a major consumer of IN738LC. Within the realm of aerospace, here’s where you’d typically find IN738LC:

  • Jet Engine Components: Jet engines operate at soaring temperatures, where ordinary materials would fail. IN738LC is commonly found in turbine blades, seals, and other critical parts that face direct exposure to these extreme conditions.
  • Rocket Propulsion Systems: Space exploration requires materials that can withstand not just high temperatures but also a host of other extreme conditions. IN738LC fits the bill perfectly.

Power Generation: The efficiency of a power plant often hinges on how high the operational temperatures can be pushed. Here’s how IN738LC serves the power generation sector:

  • Gas Turbines: Much like jet engines, gas turbines involve combustion at high temperatures. The blades, vanes, and combustion chambers often incorporate IN738LC.
  • Nuclear Reactors: While the operational temperatures here might be lower than in turbines, the need for materials resistant to radiation-induced degradation makes IN738LC a choice candidate.

Automotive: As the automotive industry pushes boundaries, especially in the realm of high-performance vehicles, the demand for materials like IN738LC grows. They find their way into:

  • Turbochargers: Boosting engine power involves increasing combustion temperatures. Turbochargers, hence, are often made from or coated with IN738LC to endure the heat.
  • Exhaust Systems: High-performance cars require exhaust systems that can handle high temperatures without degrading. IN738LC provides the needed resilience.

Oil and Gas: The extraction and refining processes involve conditions that can be harsh on materials. IN738LC is used in:

  • Drilling Equipment: Deep drilling can expose equipment to high temperatures and corrosive environments. IN738LC parts ensure the equipment remains functional.
  • Refining Systems: High-temperature refining processes leverage IN738LC’s properties for various components, ensuring long-term system integrity.

It’s evident that IN738LC’s applications are widespread and critical. The consistent theme across all these applications is the demand for a material that can handle extreme conditions without compromise, and IN738LC rises to the occasion each time.

How IN738LC Benefits You?

IN738LC isn’t just a material for high-tech industries; its incorporation into various applications offers tangible benefits that ripple through to consumers and everyday life. Here’s an insight into how this unique superalloy benefits the end user:

  1. Enhanced Safety: IN738LC’s standout property is its ability to maintain structural integrity under extreme conditions. In aerospace applications, for instance, using a robust material like IN738LC in critical components like jet engine turbines means reduced risks of mechanical failures. This translates directly to safer flights and travel experiences for passengers.
  2. Economic Efficiency: Power plants, especially gas turbines, aim to operate at higher temperatures for increased efficiency. The more efficient a power plant, the lower the operational costs. This could result in lower electricity bills for consumers. By using IN738LC, these plants can achieve desired operational temperatures without fearing material degradation.
  3. Durability: Products or parts made of IN738LC tend to have a longer lifespan due to the alloy’s resistance to various forms of degradation. Whether it’s a jet engine or a power plant turbine, using IN738LC can mean fewer replacements and repairs, ensuring continuous service and potentially lowering maintenance costs.
  4. Performance: For automotive enthusiasts, IN738LC’s role is crucial in high-performance cars, especially in turbochargers. A turbocharger made from or coated with IN738LC can handle higher temperatures, allowing the engine to produce more power without the risk of the turbocharger degrading or failing.
  5. Environmental Impact: Less frequent replacements and longer-lasting components mean less waste. Using durable materials like IN738LC can reduce the frequency of part replacements, leading to less industrial waste. Moreover, more efficient power generation, facilitated by IN738LC, can reduce fuel consumption and, consequently, emissions.
  6. Innovation: The availability of materials like IN738LC pushes industries to innovate. When engineers and designers know they have access to materials that can handle extreme conditions, they are encouraged to design more advanced and efficient systems, paving the way for technological advancements.
Understanding IN738LC: A Comprehensive Guide 5

How to choose IN738LC?

If you’re in the market for IN738LC, it’s crucial to make an informed decision. Given its myriad applications and critical roles, ensuring you obtain the highest quality is paramount. Here’s a guide on making that choice:

  1. Determine Your Need: Before diving into the world of IN738LC suppliers and grades, ascertain what you need the alloy for. Different applications may demand specific grades or types of IN738LC, so having a clear understanding of your requirements is the first step.
  2. Reputation of the Supplier: Not all IN738LC is made equal. Some manufacturers have built a reputation for producing consistently high-quality superalloys. Companies like Special Metals have been known for their commitment to quality. Research reviews, industry feedback, and any certifications the supplier might hold.
  3. Check for Purity and Composition: Always request a material certificate when considering a purchase. This certificate will detail the exact composition of the alloy, ensuring you’re getting genuine IN738LC.
  4. Price vs. Quality: While budget constraints are a reality for most, it’s crucial to balance cost with quality, especially for an alloy with applications as critical as IN738LC. Cheaper isn’t always better.
  5. Logistics: Consider the logistics of your purchase. How quickly can the supplier deliver? Do they offer international shipping if required? Can they handle large orders? Delays in delivery or limitations in order sizes can impact your operations.
  6. After-Sale Support: The relationship with a supplier doesn’t end after purchase. Check if they offer after-sale support, technical guidance, or warranties for their product.

Given the critical nature of IN738LC’s applications, investing time in research and due diligence before making a purchase is time well spent.

Best 10 IN738LC Manufacturers

The market for superalloys, given their critical applications, is vast. Several manufacturers globally have developed expertise in producing high-quality IN738LC. If you’re seeking the best, here’s a list to guide your choice:

  1. Special Metals: An industry leader, renowned for their high-quality superalloys and consistent delivery.
  2. ATI (Allegheny Technologies Incorporated): A global manufacturer known for its innovation in metal production.
  3. Haynes International: With decades of experience, they offer a variety of high-performance alloys, including IN738LC.
  4. Carpenter Technology: A name often associated with reliability and cutting-edge metal production techniques.
  5. Aperam: A global player with a diverse range of specialty alloys.
  6. Precision Castparts Corp. (PCC): They specialize in casting, forging, and other manufacturing methods for critical aerospace components.
  7. VDM Metals: With a reputation for high-quality nickel alloys, they’re a choice supplier for many industries.
  8. Nippon Yakin Kogyo: A Japanese manufacturer with a strong presence in the Asian market and beyond.
  9. Thyssenkrupp VDM: A division of the larger Thyssenkrupp conglomerate, they specialize in high-performance materials.
  10. Outokumpu: A European powerhouse in the stainless steel and specialty alloy market.

When choosing a manufacturer from this list (or beyond), it’s essential to consider the specific needs of your application, budget, and any other unique requirements. Each manufacturer might offer slightly different grades, purities, or forms of IN738LC, making it crucial to ensure you’re getting the exact product you need.

Where to Buy IN738LC?

IN738LC, given its importance in various industries, requires careful sourcing. The right supplier not only ensures quality but also reliability in delivery and post-sales support. When considering purchasing this superalloy, you might wonder where to buy. Here’s a guide to point you in the right direction:

  1. Direct from Manufacturers: Many of the top IN738LC manufacturers, such as Special Metals or ATI, often provide direct sales to customers. This method is especially useful for bulk orders or when you’re seeking specific customizations or grades of the alloy.
  2. Distributors and Resellers: Several distributors and resellers specialize in high-performance alloys, giving a broader choice from multiple manufacturers. They can be especially beneficial for smaller orders or when the primary manufacturers don’t cater to your specific region.
  3. Online Platforms: With the rise of digital commerce, platforms like Alibaba, Made-in-China, and even Amazon cater to businesses seeking specialized materials. Here, you can often find multiple suppliers, check reviews, and even get quotations.
  4. Industry Tradeshows: Industry-specific tradeshows can be a goldmine for networking and finding potential suppliers. Often, major manufacturers and resellers set up booths, making it easier to get face-to-face interactions, understand offerings better, and even strike deals.
  5. Local Dealers: Depending on your region, local dealers might stock IN738LC. It’s crucial, however, to ensure these dealers are certified or authorized to ensure you’re getting genuine and high-quality alloy.
  6. Recommendations: Sometimes, the best sources are referrals from industry peers or businesses that have a history of purchasing IN738LC. They can provide insights on their experiences, lead times, and quality from specific suppliers.

Product Advantages of Chinese IN738LC

China, as an industrial giant, has significantly advanced its capabilities in producing high-performance materials, including superalloys like IN738LC. If you’re considering sourcing from China, here’s an understanding of the advantages you might reap:

  1. Cost-Effective: One of the primary reasons businesses turn to China for manufacturing needs is the cost advantage. Advanced manufacturing techniques, combined with efficient labor practices, often result in a more favorable price point for IN738LC.
  2. Technological Advancement: Chinese manufacturers have invested heavily in R&D, ensuring they stay at the forefront of technology. This means that you’re not just getting cost-effective IN738LC, but also an alloy produced with cutting-edge techniques.
  3. Scale: Given the massive industrial base, Chinese manufacturers can handle large-scale orders efficiently. This scalability ensures timely delivery even for bulk requirements.
  4. Quality: Over the years, there’s been a conscious push towards improving quality standards in Chinese manufacturing. Leading Chinese IN738LC manufacturers now match, if not surpass, global standards.
  5. Diverse Supplier Base: The sheer number of manufacturers and suppliers ensures you have a wide choice, allowing for competitive pricing and terms.
  6. Infrastructure: China’s robust logistical and infrastructural network means reduced lead times and efficient transportation, ensuring your IN738LC reaches you in time.
  7. Innovation: Chinese firms, like Shanghai Truer technology Co., Ltd, stand as testaments to the nation’s push towards innovation. Shanghai Truer’s professional team, for instance, continues to provide customers with personalized additive manufacturing solutions. Their commitment is evident as they promote industry technology development and expand 3D printing applications. From testing to finished products and from professional customization to scale manufacturing, they epitomize the spirit of creating value through technological innovation in the industry.
  8. Customization: Given the vast manufacturing base and technological prowess, Chinese suppliers can offer customizations in IN738LC based on specific requirements, a boon for specialized applications.
Understanding IN738LC: A Comprehensive Guide 6

Best Chinese IN738LC Supplier

When sourcing IN738LC from China, it’s imperative to partner with a reliable supplier. While several manufacturers offer this superalloy, a standout in the industry is Shanghai Truer technology Co., Ltd.

  1. Commitment to Innovation: Shanghai Truer’s dedication to technology is evident. They don’t just manufacture; they innovate. Their drive to provide personalized additive manufacturing solutions showcases their forward-thinking approach.
  2. Wide Application Expertise: Shanghai Truer isn’t limited to one industry. They understand the diverse applications of 3D printing, ensuring that their IN738LC is versatile and meets varied requirements.
  3. End-to-End Solutions: From testing to the finished product, their expertise covers the entire spectrum. Whether you need customization or scale manufacturing, they have the capability to deliver.
  4. Value Creation: The company’s core ethos revolves around creating value. By promoting technological innovation, they ensure that their IN738LC isn’t just another product but a testament to advancements in the field of superalloys.
  5. Reputation: In the world of high-performance alloys, reputation matters. With their commitment to quality, innovation, and customer service, Shanghai Truer technology Co., Ltd has carved a niche for itself as a leading IN738LC supplier in China.


Q1: What exactly is IN738LC?

IN738LC is a nickel-based superalloy primarily used in high-temperature applications. Its unique composition offers excellent resistance to thermal fatigue, oxidation, and creep, making it ideal for turbine engine parts.

Q2: Why choose IN738LC over other superalloys?

Due to its enhanced properties of high-temperature resistance, longevity, and ability to withstand strenuous environments, IN738LC stands out. Its specialized composition ensures that components made from it have an extended service life, even under harsh conditions.

Q3: How does Shanghai Truer technology Co., Ltd stand out in IN738LC production?

Shanghai Truer technology Co., Ltd, with its commitment to innovation and personalized additive manufacturing solutions, ensures a top-grade IN738LC quality. Their holistic approach, from testing to finished products and emphasis on technological innovation, makes them a preferred supplier.

Q4: Are there any notable applications of IN738LC?

Yes, IN738LC is widely used in the aerospace and energy sectors. It’s most commonly found in gas turbine engine components, due to its ability to withstand high temperatures and corrosive environments.

Q5: Is IN738LC resistant to corrosion?

Absolutely! One of the standout properties of IN738LC is its excellent resistance to both oxidation and corrosion, especially at high temperatures. This ensures that components made from this superalloy can maintain their structural integrity for longer periods.

Q6: How do I ensure I’m getting genuine IN738LC?

When sourcing IN738LC, especially from international suppliers, it’s crucial to rely on reputed manufacturers or suppliers, like Shanghai Truer technology Co., Ltd. Certifications, product testing results, and reviews can also provide insights into the alloy’s authenticity.

Q7: Can IN738LC be used for applications outside of aerospace and energy sectors?

While its primary use is in the aerospace and energy sectors, its properties make it suitable for any application requiring materials to withstand high temperatures, oxidation, and corrosion.

know more 3D printing processes

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore

Scroll to Top