What is Nickel Metal?

What is Nickel Metal?

Nickel is a silver-white metal that is easily oxidized in the air, forming a somewhat black oxide film on the surface. Therefore, the nickel that people see is often black.

Nickel Metal Specification

 Ni+CoCo  minC minSi min
Nickel Metal99.80.80.010.001

Nickel Metal for sale

The Uses of Nickel Metal

Because nickel has good corrosion resistance, it is often used in electroplating. Nickel-cadmium batteries contain nickel.

It is mainly used in alloys (formulations) (such as nickel steel and nickel silver) and as catalysts (such as Raney nickel, especially as a catalyst for hydrogenation). It can be used to make currency, etc., and can be plated on other metals to prevent rust. It is mainly used to make stainless steel and other corrosion-resistant alloys, such as nickel steel, nickel-chromium steel, and various non-ferrous metal alloys. Copper-nickel alloys with higher nickel content are less likely to corrode.

It is also used as a hydrogenation catalyst and used in ceramic products, special chemical vessels, electronic circuits, green glass, and the preparation of nickel compounds, etc.

Electrolytic nickel: Electrolytic nickel is nickel made by electrolysis. Stainless steel and various alloy steels made from it are widely used in aircraft, tanks, ships, radars, missiles, spacecraft, machine manufacturing in the civil industry, ceramic pigments, permanent magnet materials, electronic remote control, and other fields.

The Production of Nickel Metal

There are two main methods of modern nickel production: fire method and wet method. Depending on the two main types of nickel-containing minerals in the world (nickel-containing sulfide ores and oxide ores), smelting and processing methods vary.

Nickel-containing sulfide ores are currently mainly processed by the fire method. Metallic nickel is obtained by smelting copper, nickel and sulfur in a reverberatory furnace (electric furnace or blast furnace) for roasting the nickel ore, blowing the nickel concentrate, and electrolyzing the nickel concentrate. Oxidized ore is mainly nickel-containing laterite ore, which is of low grade and suitable for wet treatment; the main methods are ammonia leaching and sulfuric acid. The fire treatment of oxide ore is the ferronickel method.

The main process characteristics of pyrometallurgical smelting of nickel sulfide concentrate are as follows:

(1) Smelting. After drying and desulfurization, the nickel concentrate is sent to an electric furnace (or blast furnace) for smelting. The purpose is to convert the oxides of copper and nickel into sulfides to produce low nickel matte (copper-nickel matte) and at the same time gangue slagging. In the obtained low matte nickel, the total content of nickel and copper is 8%-25% (generally 13%-17%), and the sulfur content is 25%.

(2) Blowing of low nickel matte. The purpose of blowing is to remove iron and part of the sulfur and obtain high matte nickel (nickel with high sulfur) containing 70%-75% of copper and nickel, not metallic nickel. The converter melting temperature is higher than 1230°C. Due to the low grade of low-ice nickel, the blowing time is generally longer.

(3) Grinding and floating. After fine grinding and crushing of high matte nickel, it is separated by flotation and magnetic separation to obtain nickel concentrate containing 67%-68% nickel. At the same time, copper concentrate and copper-nickel alloy are selected to recover copper and platinum group metals respectively. The nickel concentrate is melted in a reverberatory furnace to obtain nickel sulfide, which is then sent to electrolytic refining or reduced and smelted in an electric furnace (or reverberatory furnace) to obtain crude nickel, which is then electrolytically refined.

(4) Electrolytic refining. In addition to copper and diamond, crude nickel also contains gold, silver and platinum group elements, which need to be recycled by electrolytic refining. Different from copper electrolysis, a diaphragm electrolytic cell is used here. Crude nickel is used as the anode, the cathode is a nickel starter piece, and the electrolyte is a mixed solution of sulfate solution and sulfate and chloride salt. After energization, nickel precipitates from the cathode, and platinum group elements enter the anode mud and are recycled separately. The purity of the product’s electro-nickel is 99.85%-99.99%.

Processing nickel oxide by pyrometallurgy to produce ferronickel and metallic nickel

Silicate oxide ore can be smelted by pyrometallurgy, and nickel can be obtained through reduction, melting and refining. During reduction, strive to completely convert nickel oxide into metallic nickel. When melted the ferronickel will separate from the lighter slag. The nickel content of ferronickel depends on the selectivity of the partial reduction process. Coke is used as the reducing agent, and ferrosilicon can also be used as the reducing agent. In order to remove the impurities carbon, sulfur, phosphorus and chromium in crude nickel iron, refining must be carried out.

Refining ferronickel by direct partial reduction of carbon in an electric furnace

The ore is reduced to ferronickel using a carbothermal method in a submerged arc furnace, which is then refined.

The composition of the ore used is: Ni2.8%, CoO0.06%, Fe13%, Cr2O32%, MgO24%, SiO239%, combined water 12%. After this ore is dried, it is placed in a rotary kiln and preheated to about 750°C. The consumption of heavy oil is 65-85L per ton of dry ore. About 4% coke powder is added to the preheated hot ore, and then the mixture is smelted in a reduction electric furnace. The capacity of the submerged arc furnace is 12500kV.A, the electrode diameter is 1250mm, and the inner diameter of the furnace is 11m. The power consumption per ton of ore during smelting is 600kW.h. It can smelt 450t of ore every day, the ferronickel discharge temperature is 1500℃, and the slag discharge temperature is 1600℃. More than 90% of the nickel in the charge is recovered into crude nickel iron with a composition of Ni+Co24%, Si3%, C2%, Cr1.6%, and P0.03%.

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