The Best Materials to Use in Low Temperature Environments

Cold elements bring along plenty of challenges. One of the more complex of those challenges is knowing what materials can be used under which weather conditions. While you may not think that it can ever be too cold for most metals, that couldn’t be further from the truth. These are a few of the materials you can use under extremely low temperatures.

Aluminum and Titanium Alloys

-45° Celsius is the first temperature to keep in mind when choosing materials for cold conditions. This is one of the lowest temperatures reached naturally, as well as a common temperature for commercial industries. Aluminum and titanium alloys are an appropriate choice for things expected to reach this temperature.

Low Carbon Steels

-75° to -100° Celsius temperatures are cold enough that low carbon steels are typically the most reliable choice. Low carbon steel containing 3.5% nickel or higher is ideal. Aluminum and titanium alloys may also be suitable, but they will be less dependable at temperatures this low. Because of this lowered dependability, it’s not recommended to use aluminum or titanium alloys for critical items.

Nickle Based Materials

-196° Celsius temperatures require metals with high nickel content. Specifically, a nickel content of 20-25%. Steels containing that amount of nickel are the best option, although you can find other metals containing 20-25% nickel too. Aluminum-magnesium alloys are also a good choice. These alloys are less susceptible to breaking, even after welding has occurred.

High Alloy Steels

For conditions lower than -196° Celsius, high alloy steels are the only metal that can do the job. This temperature range also includes the liquid versions of helium and hydrogen which are a big area of business for many industries. If a weld is needed at temperatures this low, you’ll need to use low carbon variants to ensure the dependability of the weld. Alloys used at temperatures this low typically feature 18-21% chromium and 9-14° nickel. Energy storage and nuclear fusion projects are the most common to require metals that can withstand these extremely cold temperatures.

If you’re unsure what materials you need to be using under certain weather conditions, it’s always best to ask a professional. The exact variable of the location of the materials may change the answer of what you need and what a certain material is able to withstand. Contact us today to find out more about choosing the right material for your low-temperature environments.

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