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Nickel Alloy Notes


The name "Nickel" originated in Germany. The copper ores being mined seemed to be contaminated and could not be reduced into workable copper. They attributed this to the power of "Old Nick". The contaminated ores came to be called Kupfer-nickel which can be translated into devils copper.

Though first discovered in Germany the main deposits of nickel ores are in Canada. There are deposits in New Caledonia, Cuba and Finland.

Nickel is similar to iron in most of its properties; it has slightly lower strength and hardness and is magnetic..  In contrast with iron nickel is very resistant to corrosion and is used for this purpose in industry. . Nickel is widely used for plating steel components and in fact Chromium plating is often primarily nickel plated with a fine coating of chromium for hardness and brightness.  Nickel is a very useful material but it is very expensive and is therefore only used when the duty is too arduous for other metals.

Pure Nickel

Commercially pure nickel is actually about 99,5% Ni + Cobalt. This metal has good mechanical properties and excellent resistance to many corrosive environments. The alloy retains much of its strength at elevated temperatures and is tough and ductile at low temperature. The alloy contains some carbon (up to 0,1%). The lower the carbon content the lower the risk of work hardening and the higher the ductility.

Typical applications for commercially pure nickel include Food processing equipment, chemical shipping drums, aerospace and missile components, caustic handling equipment and piping.

Nickel Copper Alloys (Monels

Nickel and copper are soluble in each other in all proportions.  The most important nickel-copper alloys are those containing about 67% Ni and 33% Cu. These are called Monels.

The Monel alloys provide excellent service in seawater and is highly resistant to attack by chlorinated solvents, most acids, and practically all alkalis.

Nickel Chromium Alloys

Chromium is an important alloying element for many corrosion-resistant and high-temperature resistant nickel based alloys. It has a high solid solubility at approximately 30% Cr, at room temperature, in nickel.  Inconel 600 is a standard engineering alloy for use in severely corrosive environments at elevated temperatures. It is a Ni-Cr-Fe alloy containing 15,5% Cr, and 8% Fe. This alloy is not heat treatable bu can be stengthened by cold working.

Nickel can also be a base for super-alloys with very high strength-high temperature characteristics.

Links Providing information on Nickel Alloys
  1. Copper Nickel Alloys...Papers on application of alloys in a marine environment
  2. Nickel Institute ..The website for the Nickel Institute
  3. ....
  4. Falcon Metals... A Supplier with useful Info.
  5. SMC... A major supplier of Nickel Alloy- Site contains many PDF download files
  6. Nickel - Key to Metals... Cast Nonferrous: Nickel and Nickel Alloys - An informative article
  7. Database of Steel and Alloy (Marochnik )...Database of Steels and Alloy (Russian,Ukraine etc)- Very useful for interested users
    European steels and Alloys ...Database of European Steels and Alloy and equivalents - Vast amount of useful information.****

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