What is Inconel Material in Your Diesel Engine?

We get it. You want the best parts made from the best materials for your diesel engine to keep you running for miles and miles. 

If you've upgraded the horsepower in your engine, then you'll probably want to consider a cylinder head with inconel valves. We've talked about this material a lot recently with regard to our performance line of cylinder heads. But just what is it? Why is it beneficial to have valves made from inconel material in your engine? 

In this post, we're taking you through what inconel material is and why you might want to consider upgrading your cylinder head to one that has inconel valves. 

You can also check out our video to get more information on inconel material in diesel engines:



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So, What is Inconel Material?

So, with Caterpillar engines and cylinder heads in particular, we get a fair amount of questions on what inconel material is and what the difference is between standard material and inconel material. People want to know if inconel is a stronger, more reliable upgrade. Do they actually need valves made with inconel material?

To answer these questions, which go along with our performance line of cylinder heads—the Stage 2, Stage 3, and Stage 4 that all feature inconel valve material—it's important to understand what inconel material is. In short, it's an alloy used in high temperature, high stress applications to help prevent cracking and valve failure. 

Are your valves failing? Read our valves failure analysis to see if this might be happening in your diesel engine!


valve cracking and failure | Highway & Heavy Parts


Inconel valves are becoming a popular upgrade in the diesel industry due to turbocharged and high performance engines. We've mentioned chordal fracture in some of our previous posts, which can occur when valves are pushed past their intended operating limits. Using this stronger, more durable material can help prevent chordal fracture from occurring in your engine. You can rest a little easier knowing your valves can handle your engine's upgraded horsepower. 

Want to know more about what comes on a CAT cylinder head? Check out our post on the standard cylinder head for your CAT engine. 


Do I Need Inconel Valves in My Diesel Engine?


cat cylinder head upgrade stages | Highway & Heavy Parts


There are some cases where inconel valve material could be very beneficial to the health of your diesel engine. 

This is especially true if you're running an engine where you've upgraded some of the components to turn out more horsepower. This creates a situation where standard valves might be pushed beyond their limits. We're talking about engines that have upgraded to a bigger turbo, or a marine cam, or bigger injectors. 

If that describes your engine, it might be wise to consider our Stage 2 head with inconel exhaust valves, our Stage 3 head with inconel exhaust and intake valves, or our Stage 4 fire ring head with inconel exhaust and intake valves. These valves will give you peace of mind when you're turning out a lot of horsepower. 

Highway & Heavy Parts carries all three stages of head upgrades for the CAT 3406E, C15, and C15 ACERT. If you're ready for an upgrade, give us a call!


If you're looking to upgrade your cylinder head, we've got you covered! Our ASE Certified Technicians can help you with all your diesel engine parts needs. Give us a call at 844-304-7688, or request a quote online!