Invar 36[1], also known within the industry as Nilo 36[2], is a nickel-iron superalloy known for its low coefficient of thermal expansion. Containing 36% nickel, it maintains nearly constant dimensions as well as good strength and hardness over a wide range of temperatures. Invented in 1896 by Swiss physicist, Charles Edouard Guillaume, Invar was created as a low-cost solution to a meter once made of platinum and iridium. Guillaume’s work led to the discovery of a fairly inexpensive iron-nickel alloy—a steel-like material—that expands very little when heated. He named the alloy Invar because it was almost unchanging or "invariable.” 


Invar [3] is typically machined, but what many people don’t know is that it can be cast. 

Invar 36 Success

We have developed and manufactured Invar36 castings a long time ago. Due to the confidentiality agreement, we cannot disclose the customer’s name, but what we can tell you is that, like many other projects, the engineers at Shanghai Lanzhu not only successfully cast the Watt 36, and completely exceeded the customer's expectations, while saving them money. After all, isn't this the ultimate goal? Create quality components at the lowest total cost.


Invar Industry Applications

Invar can be used in a variety of applications within the aerospace, medical, and consumer electronics industries. But where superalloys with low CTE are really starting to outperform other metals is in technologies within the automotive industry. As autonomous vehicles rise in popularity, sensors, radars, and cameras become increasingly advanced and critical to the function of the car. LiDAR, an acronym for light detection and ranging, uses light waves from a laser to calculate how long it takes for the light to hit an object or surface and reflect back to the scanner—determining the distance of surrounding objects. An alloy with near constant dimensions and long-term dimensional stability, such as Invar 36, is extremely important in such intricate devices. Alternative alloys, like Kovar, with low CTE are also viable options for casting LiDAR sensors. Investment casting is a cost-effective solution compared to machining LiDAR parts from solid.



What are the Advantages of Invar 36? 

The most obvious advantage of Invar 36 is its ability to hold dimensions at cryogenic temperatures. Aside from that, Invar 36 looks and feels similar to steel. It also has outstanding weldability and machinability. Invar can also be created with customized chemistries to better meet the strength and hardness needs of customers. 


Regardless of your situation, we have professional engineering personnel to work with you on every project to ensure that your components are as high as possible. Contact our engineering team immediately to start the conversation.