Importance of nickel in stainless steel pipes

Importance of Nickel in Stainless Steel pipes

Over the years the industry demand for nickel and nickel alloys has increased despite the relatively high price. The reason for ever-increasing need for nickel is because as compared to other materials –
Nickel offers better corrosion and oxidation resistance,
It is very ductile
It has a high melting point
It can be deposited by electroplating
Have catalytic properties
A range of special magnetic and electronic properties

Nickel is used widely in over 300,000 products like consumer, industrial, military, transport, aerospace, marine and architectural applications. The biggest use of Nickel is in alloying – principally with chromium and other metals to produce stainless and heat-resisting steels. These are used for pots and pans, kitchen sinks etc., they are also used in buildings, food processing equipment, medical equipment and chemical plants.

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Nickel and stainless steel pipes

Nickel is an element which exists in nature mainly in the form of sulfide, oxide, and silicate minerals. Nickel is mainly used in manufacturing stainless steel that is about 65%.
Nickel is used in stainless steel manufacturing because it balances the effect of chromium in steel. When Chromium is added it decreases the toughness of steel, whereas Nickel compensates the decrease in toughness.
Chromium also induces ferromagnetism in steel which is not preferred in some of the applications; with the addition of Nickel in steel it changes the physical properties and it is no longer magnetic, thus solving this problem.
In a nutshell, Chromium is what makes stainless steel stainless. With the use of Nickel it promotes austenitic microstructure in stainless steel so that it can remain intact even in cryogenic temperatures.
For hardening steel, nickel is used this forms an intermetallic compounds that increase stainless steel strength. Further nickel greatly improves welding ability of the steel. Another important physical characteristic of austenite compared with ferrite is the inferior heat conductivity and the higher electrical resistivity. In some environments the corrosion resistance rate is increased with the use of nickel. Remarkably, nickel makes little or no difference when it comes to pitting resistance.

To conclude, it is clear that nickel has many advantages when used in various kinds of alloy because it ensures better formability, toughness and greater strength at high temperatures. Although the price of nickel has enormously increased in recent years, a good substitute for this material is yet to be found. In other words, nickel will continue to play a prominent role in many industrial and domestic applications.