An introduction to nickel and its uses

Although it was only officially identified and isolated as an element in 1751, nickel has been found in artefacts dating back more than 2,000 years. Its name is derived from the German word ‘Kupfernickel’ which means ‘Devils’ Copper’.
Nickel is a naturally occurring element that is found within the earth’s crust and core. It is actually the fifth most common element on Earth. It is also found in some meteorites and traces exist in water and soil.

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Key Characteristics

Nickel is a silvery-white metallic element. Its chemical symbol is Ni. Nickel has a melting point of 1,453° C, a density of 8.90 g/cm 3 at 25°C, and a Curie temperature of 253°C.

Properties of Nickel

Nickel has a number of attractive properties. It is highly ductile, resistant to corrosion and oxidation, alloys easily with other elements, is magnetic at room temperature, has several catalytic properties, can be fully recycled or reused, and can be deposited via electroplating.

Nickel Surface Treatments

Nickel composites are becoming an increasingly popular choice when it comes to surface treatments. They have several advantages over other types, including better electrical conductivity, increased durability, and reduced friction.

If you feel that your business could benefit from surface treatments, there are several companies that specialise in this field. Several of these have online resources such as the examples seen here:

Applications of Nickel

Nickel is predominantly used in alloying, notably with chromium and other metals to produce heat-resistant and stainless steels. It is found in millions of products.

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Examples of industries where nickel plays an important role include building and construction (industrial roofing, cladding, curtain-walling), energy (oil and gas pipes, nuclear reactors, solar panels), transport (electric engines, train carriages, turbines), healthcare (medical equipment, implants, drug manufacturing), and consumer products (appliances, mobile devices, batteries).

Author: Niru Taylor

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