3D Printing Metal Powder

Nickel and Stainless Steel

2023-07-06 22:10:02  News

Nickel is an essential alloying element in stainless steel, providing corrosion resistance, strength, abrasion resistance and toughness. It also provides an attractive shine ideal for coins, jewelry and other decorative finishes. While chromium is the key ingredient in all stainless steels, nickel allows them to become truly versatile materials.

The addition of nickel to chromium creates austenitic steel grades with excellent formability, weldability and ductility. These are the most commonly fabricated types of stainless steel. Examples include Core 304 (EN 1.4301) and the acid-proof Supra 316L (EN 1.4404). Compared to conventional ferritic steel, which has a body-centered cubic crystal structure, nickel changes the metal’s crystal structure to an austenitic one. This makes them much easier to fabricate, as they don’t tend to develop damaging brittle phases in high temperatures and are not prone to deformation under mechanical stress.

Nickel also enhances the oxidation behavior of stainless steel, and increases its resistance to crevice corrosion. This is particularly useful in highly corrosive environments, such as those encountered in the food processing industry and marine applications. It also reduces the tendency of austenitic alloys to lose strength in hot conditions, and prevents brittleness when exposed to thermal cycling. For these reasons, nickel is an essential component of many grades of stainless steel used in food processing and engineering applications.

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