Nickel use is growing ever more prevalent in our daily lives. Whether it is your smartphone or hybrid vehicle, Nickel is widely used to make rechargeable batteries, something that our current global economy would not work without. Nickel use has been growing at a rate of 4% per year, and Nickel-containing stainless steel use has a growth rate of roughly 6%. So, what is Nickel anyways?
The different Nickel Alloys
Nickel, an element on the periodic table (Ni), has an atomic weight of 28, a silver-white appearance with a subtle tint of gold, is a transition metal, and is hard and ductile. Those are its base properties. Certain Nickel alloys, however, play a different role.
Nickel 400 contains a minimum of 63% Nickel and significant amounts of both Copper and Iron. It is used mainly by the marine and chemical processing industries due to its high corrosion resistance and strength for piping, fuel tanks, anchor cables, springs, and a number of other instruments.
Nickel 405 is similar to Nickel 400, but where Nickel 405 sets itself apart is its sulfur content. This makes Nickel 405 much more machinable, therefore reducing the price of production.
Nickel 500 roughly double the tensile strength and three times the yield strength of Nickel 400. This is because Aluminum and Titanium are added to this alloy, then it is put through a highly controlled thermal processing called aging. It can be used in place of either of the prior nickel alloys, but really excels where the need for strength and corrosion resistance meet.
Rather unexpectedly, none of these Nickel alloys are used to make batteries. The type of alloy used for that can be Nickel-cadmium (NiCd), Nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH), Nickel-iron (NiFe), Nickel-zinc (NiZn), or Nickel-hydrogen (NiH). More research is going into discovering the most efficient and quickest charging types of battery for our society to run on than ever before.
If you are in need of a specific Nickel alloy but aren’t sure which one to choose, feel free to contact us for more information. There is a right alloy for every job, and choosing the wrong one can set your project back much longer than you would think. We will help to ensure you get the metal you need.