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Name: Raymond
Status: n/a
Grade: 9-12
Location: CA
Country: USA
Date: Summer 2014


Question:
I am in the process of designing a mechanical structure that can reliably hold heavy weight while immersed in liquid nitrogen for my high school science project...What metal alloy (or other exotic material) can I consider that will remain tough and strong in a very cold condition?



Replies:
Hi Raymond,

Thanks for the question. I will give you some pointers so that you can find out what metal is best to be used for your application. First, consider what liquid nitrogen is held in. The container is called a dewar and you can look up on the Internet what kind of metal is used. Liquid nitrogen is often used in industrial settings and a liquid nitrogen plumbing system is used. Look up what metals are used in making these pipes that carry liquid nitrogen. When you do this research on the Internet, you will learn much more about your application as well as how to handle liquid nitrogen safely.

I hope this helps. Thanks Jeff Grell


Hi Raymond,

Most of the commonly available aluminum alloys such as 5052H34, 6061T6, 6063T5, and most of the 1000 series of aluminum alloys maintain their strength quite well at liquid nitrogen temperature.

Most of the common 300-series alloys of stainless steel (e.g. types 301, 302, 303, and 316) work well at liquid nitrogen temperature also.

All the above alloys are available at any metals supplier. No need for anything "exotic".

Just avoid ordinary low carbon steel.

Regards, Bob Wilson


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