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Tour of Special Metals Corp.

May 16, 2018 | Special Metals Corp.

Special Metals Corporation (SMC) of New Hartford is a leading producer of superalloys and other high performance alloys for the aerospace, power generation, petroleum, and other industries that require strong alloys that can perform for long times at high temperatures, and often in oxidative and/or corrosive environments. In 1952, Special Metals Corporation, then a part of Utica Drop Forge, developed the first commercially successful vacuum induction melting (VIM) furnace for melting the superalloys required in military jet aircraft engines during the Korean War. Compared to jet engine blades forged from air melted superalloys, blades from vacuum melted alloys had greatly improved properties, especially hot stress rupture lives that were 5-10 times longer. This yielded blades with much longer lives, a necessity during aerial combat and patrols. From the first 6 lb. capacity VIM furnace (#1), SMC built larger furnaces, with the present, #9, furnace having a capacity of 40,000 lbs. Additionally, while direct VIM melted alloys were far superior to air melted alloys, secondary melting (or remelting), either by Vacuum Arc (VAR) or Electroslag (ESR) further improved alloy properties. Thus, SMC began purchasing VAR and ESR furnaces. It now has a wide range of vacuum and electroslag furnaces and equipment, needed to produce the superalloys that power today’s jet engines for both military and commercial aircraft and for other applications.

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