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Alloying Element – Nickel

Nickel Alloying Element

Nickel is one of the most important alloying element in the machining world. It is added in various quantities to many materials having a major effect on their properties. Its presence in high quantity creates materials that are very hard to machine.

  • 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.

Raw Materials by Nickel content

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