Nickel is a very versatile metal, both in pure form and with the addition of other alloying elements. The key benefits of nickel alloys come from its ability to withstand a wide variety of severe operating conditions, including: corrosive environments, high temperatures, high stresses, and combinations of these factors. As a result, these alloys have extensive commercial uses for manufacturers across the globe. Although popular in commercially pure forms, nickel has the ability to alloy with a wide range of metals, putting nickel alloy metals are at the forefront of modern metallurgy. Growth in demand from industrial sectors for metals alloys with high strength and excellent corrosion resistance at high temperature, has ensured ongoing development of nickel alloy grades. With a multitude of alloying options available, this group of alloys, offers manufacturers the flexibility to meet specific requirements in many different types of environment.
There are many commercial applications for Nickel Alloys, with extensive use in Aerospace, Nuclear Plants, Medial, Chemical and Petrochemical industries. The most commercially popular forms of Nickel Alloys fall into the following categories:
The key characteristics of these materials are: high density, low electrical resistivity, high thermal conductivity and high magnetic properties. Additionally, Commercially Pure Nickel Strip offers excellent corrosion resistance in many chemical media, especially some strong alkalis. Whilst Commercially Pure Nickel Strip cannot be hardened by heat treatment, metal strip however, can be produced by cold rolling to a range of strengths.
Nickel-copper alloys possess excellent corrosion resistance in reducing chemical environments and also in seawater. Consequently they are commonly found in Marine environments. Additionally, they have other useful mechanical traits such as good ductility and ease of fabrication.
This group of alloys led the way to higher strength and resistance to elevated temperatures. The carburising environments and extreme temperatures within the Chemical Processing industry were the driving force in the their development. Manufacturers found Stainless Steels is unsuitable for such severe environments, whereas the properties of Nickel-Chromium & Nickel-Chromium-Iron Alloys are ideal.
Offering good oxidation resistance, these alloys have found extensive use in the Petrochemical processing industry. The 800 series offers excellent strength at high temperature.
Within the lighting industry, glass to metal seals present a key challenge to manufacturers. Controlled Expansion Alloys provide an ideal solution for components that incorporate a glass to metal seal and exhibit good thermal conductivity. Equally, these alloys offer some more unusual characteristics, including their high strength and a low coefficient of thermal expansion. As a result, Controlled Expansion Alloys have significant benefits to electronic manufactures.