The scope of use of Nickel in pure form is about 8%. of the total consumption. The main consumer of Nickel — steel, offering a large variety of alloysin which the Nickel acts either as alloying element or as the main component.
As a chemical element, Nickel is known for more than 200 years, although practical application of its alloys began in ancient times. Since the iron age Nickel along with iron has taken a special place. These metals accompanied each other in the native state, especially in the meteoric iron. The ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, India began to use Nickel alloys more than 5000 years ago. To our days in the Egyptian excavation of a well-preserved products of meteoric iron, containing from 6 to 50−60% Nickel. Ancient metallurgists intuitively understood the enhancing effect of Nickel on alloys without the knowledge of its chemical properties and methods of obtaining in pure form.
From the middle of the eighteenth century, with the development of chemistry, was able to extract many metals in a pure form, including Nickel. Metals of the VIII group (group Ni) took the last place in the justification for the periodicity of properties of elements. They become a link between elements of the main subgroup and the side groups (sub-groups), reflecting the trend in properties of elements across periods.
After the discovery of large deposits of Nickel in the XIX century began its industrial use. It was established that alloying with Nickel increases the corrosion resistance alloys, heat resistance, toughness and durability, gives metals special electrical and magnetic properties. With the development of industry created the demand for steels and alloys with special properties. Nickel took the leading position in the development of new materials. By the end of the twentieth century we developed more than 3,000 different compositions of Nickel alloys. In our time, Nickel has become a truly indispensable metal with great prospects for future applications.
In modern engineering and instrumentation Nickel demand as a corrosion resistant, ferromagnetic material. In industrial chemistry, as a catalyst. In electrical engineering — as filling batteries. Pure Nickel is indispensable for the application of protective coatings that give the surface of the metal with high chemical resistance. It is difficult to overestimate the importance of this metal in the alloying of steels and alloys. Especially the successful combination of alloys of Nickel with chromium and iron. Nichrome and ferrochrome — high-temperature corrosion — and acid-resistant alloys with a high resistance is indispensable for elements of heating industrial furnaces and household appliances. It should also be noted alloys with copper, beryllium, cobalt, where the Nickel is needed as a binder. Nickel alloys play a crucial role in the nuclear industry. They are used as protective shells for protection uranium rods from corrosion in the nuclear boilers.
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