The Uses of Ferro Nickel and Nickel Metal

Introduction to the application of nickel

Nickel has good plasticity, corrosion resistance, magnetism, high temperature resistance and other properties, so it is mainly used in steel, nickel-based alloys, electroplating, batteries, currency and other fields. It is widely used in various military manufacturing industries such as aircraft and radar, and civil machinery. Manufacturing and electroplating industries, etc.

Nickel metal manufacturer Ni 99.8 99.9

Ferronickel and metallic nickel are used in the steel field

Because nickel has good corrosion resistance, high temperature resistance, rust resistance and other properties, it is widely used in steel fields such as stainless steel and alloy steel.

Ferronickel and metallic nickel are used in the field of stainless steel

Nickel consumption is the largest in stainless steel applications. The sources of nickel metal are currently mainly obtained through the following channels: Feni, NPI, refined nickel, other oxidized sinter and other intermediate products of nickel, and scrap stainless steel. At present, the proportion of npi used is more than 60%, Feni is 20%, refined nickel is 10%, and scrap stainless steel is about 10%.

According to the different proportions of nickel, nickel-containing stainless steel is mainly divided into: austenitic stainless steel, austenitic-ferritic duplex stainless steel, and precipitation hardening stainless steel.

Nickel-containing stainless steel can not only resist the corrosion of atmosphere, steam and water, but also resist the corrosion of acid, alkali and salt. Therefore, it is widely used in chemical industry, metallurgy, construction and other industries. Its main application areas are: product industry: kitchen Sanitary products such as tableware, sanitary ware, bathtubs, water heaters and other products that come into contact with more water; machinery manufacturing: such as electric machinery, engineering machinery, transportation tools; infrastructure construction: mainly anti-rust structural materials and later installed decorative materials, etc.

According to Mysttel statistics, China’s stainless steel crude steel production in 2019 was 28.953 million tons, and primary nickel consumption was 1.011 million tons, accounting for 77.5% of nickel production.

Ferronickel and metallic nickel are used to produce alloy steel

Alloy steel, also known as special steel, is an iron-carbon alloy composed of ordinary carbon steel with an appropriate amount of alloying elements added. Depending on the added elements and appropriate processing and heat treatment processes, special properties such as high strength, high toughness, wear resistance, corrosion resistance, low and high temperature resistance, and non-magnetic properties can be obtained. Nickel can improve the strength of alloy steel, maintain good plastic toughness, have high corrosion resistance to acids and alkalis, and has anti-rust and heat resistance at high temperatures. Nickel-containing alloy steel is mainly used in the manufacture of acid-resistant towers, medical equipment, and daily necessities in chemical production, as well as in machinery manufacturing, transportation, and military industries such as bridge renovation and warship construction.

Ferronickel and metallic nickel are used to produce nickel-based alloys

Nickel-based alloys are metal materials composed of nickel as the base (containing nickel content ≥50%) and adding other alloying elements. According to the main properties, it can be subdivided into nickel-based heat-resistant alloys, nickel-based corrosion-resistant alloys, nickel-based wear-resistant alloys, nickel-based precision alloys and nickel-based shape memory alloys, etc. The main products include nickel-based alloy bare welding rods, nickel-based alloy powders, nickel-based welding rods, nickel-based alloy precision castings and deformed alloys, etc.

Common brands on the market include Inconel 690, Hatselloy C-276, Haynes 242, Monel 400, Incoloy800, etc. Mainly used in aerospace (engines, combustion chambers, turbines), automotive industry (exhaust systems, ignition devices, sensors, safety devices), fine chemicals (containers, pipelines, pumps and valves), ocean engineering (ships, submarines, offshore Oil drilling platform), petrochemical industry, environmental protection engineering, electric power industry, biomedicine, etc.

In 2019, China’s alloy casting industry consumed 54,000 tons of primary nickel, accounting for 4.1% of total nickel production.

Ferronickel and metallic nickel are used in electroplating fields

Nickel plating refers to covering steel and other metal substrates with a durable, corrosion-resistant coating whose corrosion resistance is 20% to 25% higher than that of zinc plating. Since electroplating has certain requirements on nickel content concentration, currently only refined nickel can be used as its raw material. The processing volume of electroplating nickel ranks second after zinc electroplating. In 2019, China’s electroplating industry consumed 71,000 tons of primary nickel, and its consumption accounted for 5.5% of the total nickel production. Nickel-plated items are beautiful, clean, and not easy to rust.

Nickel plating is divided into electroless nickel plating and chemical nickel plating. The characteristics of electroless nickel plating and electroless nickel plating are analyzed as follows:

Electroplated nickel

The electroplated nickel layer has high stability in the air, extremely fine crystals, and excellent polishing properties. The relatively high hardness of the coating can improve the wear resistance of the product surface. It is widely used in optical instrument plating, protective decorative coatings, and casting. Crystallizer electronic components, etc.

Electroless Nickel

Electroless nickel plating has good thickness uniformity, no hydrogen permeation, and no hydrogen embrittlement. There is no need to remove hydrogen after electroless nickel plating. Many electroless nickel plating products have better corrosion resistance and high-temperature oxidation resistance than electroplated nickel. They can be deposited on the surface of various materials and do not require the DC motor or control equipment required for general electroplating. The heat treatment temperature is low and only needs to be processed under different conditions below 400°C. After holding time, different corrosion resistance and wear resistance can be obtained.

Therefore, it is especially suitable for functional coatings of parts with complex shapes and whose surfaces require wear resistance and corrosion resistance.

Nickel plating liquid type

The main types of nickel plating solutions include sulfate type, chloride type, sulfamate type, citrate type, fluoroborate type, etc. Among them, the sulfate type (low chloride) nickel plating solution called Watts is the most commonly used in industry. Sulfamate type and fluoroborate type are suitable for thick nickel plating or electroforming. Citrate type is suitable for direct nickel plating on zinc die castings.

The costs of these plating solutions are relatively high. Other nickel plating types include: ordinary nickel plating (dark plating), bright nickel, sulfamate nickel plating, high sulfur nickel, nickel seal, satin nickel, high stress nickel, multi-layer nickel plating, citrate nickel plating, etc. .

Nickel element is used in the battery field

Metal-plated nickel is also used in the battery field, mainly including nickel-hydrogen batteries, cadmium-nickel batteries and nickel-manganese batteries.

The most rapidly developed in recent years is the increasingly practical MHx-Ni battery. Its advantages are non-toxic, green and pollution-free. The battery reserve is 30% more than that of nickel-cadmium batteries. It is lighter than nickel-cadmium batteries and has a longer service life. The disadvantages are The price is more expensive than nickel-cadmium batteries, and the performance is worse than lithium batteries. It is mainly used in mobile communications, notebooks, video recorders and other fields. It is also used in military industry, national defense, high-tech and other fields. Cars powered by such batteries are already on the market. The growth of nickel-metal hydride batteries in my country is sluggish, and the product output value and output in recent years have not exceeded the peak in 2008. In 2011, the output value and output of nickel-metal hydride batteries were 5.5 billion yuan and 950 million units respectively, a decrease of 15.38% and 26.36% respectively compared with 2008. The reduction in product scale makes nickel-metal hydride batteries even less economical. The future scenario is worrying, and its development space still depends on the application of hybrid electric vehicles.

In 2019, China’s battery industry consumed 103,000 tons of primary nickel, accounting for 7.9% of total nickel production. Among them, 32,000 tons are traditional batteries and 71,000 tons are new energy batteries.

Nickel composite materials can be used as catalysts in petrochemical hydrogenation and methane synthesis, and can be used in automotive catalytic converters, catalytic combustion, and diesel vehicle black smoke purifier carriers. The advantage is that it is not easily poisoned by H2S and S02.

Nickel compounds can be used to make pigments and dyes. Nickel can also be made into new ceramics such as nickel ferrite and nickel-zinc ferrite, which can be used as the core of transformers and radio antennas.

Very fine nickel powder is often used as a catalyst in the chemical industry.

Nickel is magnetic and is attracted to magnets. And alloys made of aluminum, cobalt and nickel are even more magnetic. It can be used to build electromagnetic cranes.

In 2019, other industries in China consumed 32,000 tons of primary nickel, accounting for 2.5% of total nickel production.

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