Alloying Element – Nickel
- In Steel (up to 4% ): Nickel is added to steel to increase hardenability. It often improves the toughness and ductility of the steel, even with the increased strength and hardness it brings.
- In Stainless Steel (up to 60%): Nickel is used to producing austenitic stainless steel because it is an austenite promoter. When amounts of chromium around 18% or greater are used, and nickel composition is higher than 8%, austenitic stainless steel is created. This combination is exceptionally corrosion-resistant, and austenitic grades are some of the most widely used stainless steel. More than two-thirds of global nickel production is used to produce stainless steel.
- In Super Alloys (Up to 99%): Where stainless steels may fail is where nickel-based superalloys come into play. Nickel alloys are based on the same principle as stainless steel, but the increased amounts of alloying elements while maintaining a single-phase structure—results in better corrosion resistance at a wide temperature range. In the case of Nickel-Based alloys, where nickel is the dominant element in the compositions, it cannot be called an “Alloying Element”, and the other elements become alloying elements of the Nickel.