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The application of Nickel element in alloy materials

Nickel is a silver-white metal with magnetic properties and good plasticity. Nickel has good corrosion resistance. Nickel is similar to silver white, hard and ductile metal elements with ferromagnetic properties. It can be highly polished and corrosion resistant. It is green when dissolved in nitric acid. Mainly used in alloys (such as nickel steel and nickel silver) and as catalysts (such as Laney nickel, especially as hydrogenation catalysts). The density of nickel is 8.902 g/cubic centimeter, the melting point is 1453°C, and the boiling point is 2732°C. Nickel is widely used in stainless steel and alloy steel because of its good corrosion resistance, high temperature resistance, rust resistance and other properties.


Here is the photos of pure nickel:



Also, we made one simple version video introduce about Nickel element for you:




The Function of Nickel in Steel

Nickel element in steel can improve toughness, yield strength and comprehensive properties of steel.

1. Refining ferrite grain and improving hardening property of steel.

2. It can reduce the quenching temperature during heat treatment, so the deformation is small during heat treatment.

3. It can improve the plasticity and toughness of steel, especially at low temperature.

4. It can improve the thermal strength and corrosion resistance of steel, and is one of the main alloying elements of Hot-Strength steel and austenitic stainless steel.

Application of nickel:

1. Manufacture of nickel-based alloys, mainly stainless steel and various nickel-based high temperature, corrosion resistance, wear-resistant alloys and so on.

 1.1  Stainless Steel

Nickel consumption is the largest in stainless steel applications. Two-thirds of the primary nickel ores in the world are used in stainless steel production. Stainless steel containing nickel can resist not only atmospheric, steam and water corrosion, but also acid, alkali and salt corrosion, so it is widely used in chemical industry, metallurgy, construction and other industries, such as the production of petrochemical, textile, light industry, nuclear energy and other industries required welding containers, towers, troughs, pipes, etc. In urea production, synthetic tower, washing tower, condensation tower, stripping tower and other corrosion resistance is high. Pressure equipment. According to the different proportion of nickel, nickel-containing stainless steel can be divided into austenitic stainless steel, austenitic-ferritic duplex stainless steel and precipitation hardening stainless steel.

 1.2  Nickel-based alloys

Nickel-based alloys are a kind of alloys with high strength and certain anti-oxidation and corrosion resistance at 650-1000 ~C. According to the main properties, it can be divided into nickel-based heat-resistant alloy, nickel-based corrosion-resistant alloy, nickel-based wear-resistant alloy, nickel-based precision alloy and nickel-based shape memory alloy. Monel alloy   produced in the United States in 1905 is the earliest nickel-based corrosion resistant alloy. Nickel-chromium-molybdenum-copper corrosion-resistant alloys were produced in the United States in 1906. Nickel-chromium-molybdenum corrosion resistant alloy was produced in Germany in 1920. Nickel-chromium-titanium alloy was produced in Britain in 1941. In 1953, the former Soviet Union produced nickel-tungsten-calcium alloy for electric vacuum devices. Nickel-tungsten-zirconium alloy for electric vacuum devices was produced in the United States in 1958. China began to produce nickel-based corrosion-resistant alloys and nickel-based temperature-measuring materials in the early 1950s; developed nickel alloys and nickel-based Superalloys for vacuum devices in the early 1960s; and produced nickel-based catalyst alloys and nickel-beryllium elastic alloys for synthetic diamonds in the early 1970s.

(1) Nickel base superalloy.

The main alloying elements are chromium, tungsten, molybdenum, cobalt, aluminium, titanium, boron, zirconium and so on. Among them, chromium plays an anti-oxidation and anti-corrosion role, while other elements play a strengthening role. It has high strength, oxidation resistance and gas corrosion resistance at 650 - 1000 (?) C. It is one of the most widely used superalloys with the highest high temperature strength. It is used to manufacture Aeroengine Blades and high temperature components for rocket engines, nuclear reactors and energy conversion equipment.

(2) Nickel-based corrosion resistant alloys.

The main alloying elements are copper, chromium and molybdenum. It has good comprehensive performance and can resist various acid corrosion and stress corrosion. The earliest application is nickel-copper alloy, also known as Monel alloy; in addition, there are nickel-chromium alloy, nickel-molybdenum alloy, nickel-chromium-molybdenum alloy and so on. Used for manufacturing various corrosion resistant parts.

(3) Nickel-based wear-resistant alloy.

The main alloying elements are chromium, molybdenum and tungsten, with a small amount of niobium, tantalum and indium. In addition to wear resistance, it has good oxidation resistance, corrosion resistance and welding performance. Wear-resistant parts can be manufactured, and can also be used as coating materials, which can be coated on the surface of other matrix materials by surfacing and spraying process.

(4) Nickel-based precision alloys.

Including nickel-based soft magnetic alloys, nickel-based precision resistance alloys and nickel-based electrothermal alloys. The most commonly used soft magnetic alloy is the Bomo alloy with about 80% nickel. Its maximum permeability and initial permeability are high, and its coercivity is low. It is an important iron core material in the electronic industry. The main alloying elements of nickel-based precision resistance alloys are chromium, aluminium and copper, which have high resistivity, low temperature coefficient of resistivity and good corrosion resistance, and are used to make resistors. Nickel-based electrothermal alloys are 20% chromium-containing nickel alloys, which have good oxidation resistance and corrosion resistance, and can be used for a long time at 1000-1100 ~C. Nickel-based shape memory alloys. Nickel alloy containing 50(at)% titanium. The recovery temperature is 70 C, and the shape memory effect is good. A small change in the proportion of nickel to titanium can change the recovery temperature in the range of 30-100 C. Most of them are used in the manufacture of auto-opening structural parts for spacecraft, auto-exciting fasteners for aerospace industry, artificial heart motors for biomedicine, etc.


2. Application of Nickel in Electroplating

Nickel plating refers to coating steel and other metal substrates with a durable and corrosion-resistant coating, whose corrosion resistance is 20%-25% higher than that of galvanized coating. Nickel-plated products are beautiful, clean and rusty. The amount of nickel plating is second only to zinc plating, and its consumption accounts for about 10% of total nickel production. Nickel plating is divided into electroplating nickel and electroless nickel plating. The characteristics of nickel electroplating and electroless nickel plating are analyzed as follows:

  2.1 Nickel plating

Nickel plating has high stability in air, very fine crystallization, and excellent polishing performance. Higher hardness of nickel plating can improve the wear resistance of product surface. It is widely used in optical instrument plating, protective decorative coating, casting mould electronic components, etc.

  2.2 Electroless nickel plating

Electroless nickel plating has good uniformity, no hydrogen permeation, no hydrogen embrittlement, and no hydrogen removal is required after electroless nickel plating. Many electroless nickel plating products have better corrosion resistance and high temperature oxidation resistance than electroplating nickel. They can be deposited on various material surfaces without the need of DC motor or control equipment for general electroplating. Low heat treatment temperature can obtain different corrosion resistance and wear resistance as long as the heat treatment temperature is below 400 and after different holding time. Therefore, they are especially suitable for zero with complex shape and surface requirements for wear resistance and corrosion resistance. Functional coating of components, etc.

3. Types of Nickel Plating Bath

The main types of nickel plating bath are sulfate type, chloride type, aminosulfonate type, citrate type and fluoroborate type. Among them, the sulfate type (low chloride) nickel plating bath called Watts (Watts) is most widely used in industry. Aminosulfonate type and fluoroborate type are suitable for thick nickel plating or electroforming. Citrate type is suitable for direct nickel plating on zinc die castings. The cost of these plating solutions is relatively high. Other nickel plating types include common nickel plating (dark plating), bright nickel, sulfamate nickel plating, high sulfur nickel, nickel seal, Satin nickel, high stress nickel, multi-layer nickel plating, citrate nickel plating, etc.

4. Battery field

Nickel plating has also been applied to the field of batteries, mainly nickel-hydrogen batteries, cadmium-nickel batteries and nickel-manganese batteries. In recent years, the most rapid development is the application of MHx-Ni batteries which are becoming more and more practical. Its advantages are non-toxic, green and pollution-free. Its storage capacity is 30% more than that of nickel-cadmium batteries. It is lighter than that of nickel-cadmium batteries and has longer service life. The disadvantage is that the price is higher than that of nickel-cadmium batteries and the performance is Mainly used in mobile communications, notebooks, video recorders and other fields, but also used in military, national defense, high-tech and other fields. Vehicles powered by such batteries have also entered the market.

5. Application of nickel in other fields

Nickel composites can be used as catalysts for hydrogenation and synthesis of methane in petrochemical industry. The advantage of nickel composites is that they are not easily poisoned by H2S and S02. Compounds of nickel can be used to make pigments and dyes. Nickel can also be made into new types of ceramics such as nickel ferrite and nickel-zinc ferrite, as transformer cores and radio antennas. Fine nickel powder is often used as catalyst in chemical industry. Nickel is magnetic and can be attracted by magnets. The alloys made of aluminium, cobalt and nickel have stronger magnetic properties. It can be used to make electromagnetic cranes.